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WILLIAM COOPER HOWELLS. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF LIFE 
IN OHIO, 



KROM: isis TO 



BY 

WILLIAM COOPER HOWELLS. 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HIS SON, 

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS. 



CINCINNATI: 
THE ROBERT CLARKE COMPANY, 

1895. 



COPYRIGHT, 1895, 
BY THE ROBERT CLARKE COMPANY. 



INTRODUCTION. 



It was at my suggestion that my father began, ten 
or twelve years ago, to set down the facts of his early life. 
At first the record was meant for his family only, but 
when I came to read it over I found it so full of expe- 
riences and observations of general interest, that I urged 
him to continue it, with a view to its final publication, 
and yet keep it as simple and informal as he had origi- 
nally intended. This will account for its appearance 
and character in the present shape. He was never able 
to finish it, and the work of revision fell to me after his 
death. In doing this work I felt that the value of his 
reminiscences to the public was, of course, in the per- 
spective they afforded of times and conditions long past 
away, and I have tried to free them from all personalities 
not essential to this. 

Necessarily, however, they remain very personal, as 
far as the writer and his immediate family are concerned. 
These, indeed, constitute the background of a picture, 
which could not have had due relief without them. A 
middle-class English family, coming to Ohio early in the 

(iii) 



iv Introduction. 

century, could see the primitive American life more or 
less from the outside. They would be in it, but not of 
it ; and their point of view would have distinct advan- 
tages for the study of its peculiarities. My father was 
always a very close and critical observer, both of nature 
and of human nature, and I may say that he was equally 
a lover of both. When I first began to make my ob- 
servations of him, I used to think, with that wisdom of 
youth which we are not so sure of later, that he was 
easily deceived in people; but I have since come to see 
that he understood quite well the character of such peo- 
ple, and that what he trusted in them was human na- 
ture, which in the long run did not deceive him. There 
was that in him which appealed to the better qualities 
of those he came in contact with, and made them wish 
to be as good as he thought them capable of being. He 
was not a poet in tLe artistic sense, but he was a poet in 
his view of life, the universe, creation; and his dream of 
it included man, as well as the woods and fields and their 
citizenship. His first emotion concerning every form of 
life was sympathetic; he wished to get upon common 
ground with every person and with every thing, 

But he had the philosophic rather than the imagin- 
ative temperament, and what he sometimes thought he 
wished to do in literature and in art (for he used, when 
young, to write verse and to draw), he would probably 
not have done if he had enjoyed all those opportunities 



Introduction. y 

and advantages which, circumstances denied him. In 
the things which vitally pleased him, circumstance de- 
nied him nothing. All his long life he had full 
scope for the contemplation, serene and wise and gentle, 
to which this world and the world to come wore mostly 
a hopeful aspect. The real hurt which adverse fortune 
did him was to make him contented with makeshifts in 
the material and aesthetic results he aimed at. In the 
conditions that hampered him through the whole of his 
childhood and earlier manhood, a makeshift was the ut- 
most he could achieve, and the perfect thing must be 
always postponed until the habit of makeshifts became 
confirmed with him. Consequently, he was not a very 
good draughtsman, not a very good poet, not a very good 
farmer, not a very good printer, not a very good editor, 
according to the several standards of our more settled 
times ; but he was the very best man I have ever known. 
I say this with a full sense of his faults, both of tem- 
perament and of character. I knew them, and they 
serve now to make him all the dearer to me, for I re- 
member that he knew them, too, and used them as the 
materials of his endeavor for that perfection which he 
did not expect to achieve, but which always shone before 
his eyes. I do not believe a more genuinely modest 
and gentle person ever lived. Any sort of rudeness or 
violence was inconceivable of him ; and if sometimes a 
natural lightness of heart elated him with an undue 



vi Introduction. 

sense of his own powers or performances, ms unfailing 
sense of humor restored him to a more critical mood, 
But his optimism, which included the whole frame of 
things, did not leave his own being out, and he never 
took a morbid or despairing view of his failings. Every 
day was the beginning of the world with him ; if he lay 
down old, he rose up young, as long as health and 
strength lasted with him. 

I suppose that each of us frames for himself a re- 
ligion out of whatever creed he professes ; and certainly 
my father did this with the doctrine of Swedenborg. It 
was the delight of his life, after that long struggle with 
other persuasions, which his children came too late to 
witness a tranquil joy, a peace that passed understand- 
ing. It was easy for him, whose being was in some sort 
a dream of love and good will, to conceive all tangible 
and visible creation as an adumbration of spiritual real- 
ity ; to accept revelation as the mask of interior mean- 
ings; to regard the soul as its own keeper, and the sover- 
eign chooser of heaven or hell, but always master of the 
greatest happiness possible to it. To his essential meek- 
ness and unselfishness it was natural that he should 
think of himself as nothing in himself, and only some- 
thing from moment to moment through influx from the 
Lord. He had a profound belief in this philosophy, 
which served to answer every question and satisfy every 



Introduction. vii 

need of his spirit. He did not try to make it equally 
sufficient for others. He scarcely urged it even upon his 
children ; and for the rest of the world he believed that 
each man in it had the religion best adapted to him for 
the time being; though he was sure that snch as sought 
the final truth could find it only in Swedenborg's inter- 
pretations of the Word. 

The narrative that follows is the story of the first 
thirty-three years of a life that stretched to eighty-seven. 
It deals mainly with simple and common things in con- 
ditions whose present remoteness may well lend them 
an air of romance. Such as he depicts the early life of 
Eastern Ohio, the early life of America was every- where 
during the whole pioneer period. But I think his ac- 
count of it is of peculiar value because he brought to 
the study of persons and things his peculiarly genial in- 
telligence. It is not merely that he saw them clearly, 
but that he saw them kindly. The unfriendly eye al- 
ways loses what is best in a prospect, and his eye was 
never unfriendly. He did not deceive himself concern- 
ing the past. He knew that it was often rude, and hard, 
and coarse ; but, under the rough and sordid aspect, he 
was aware of the warm heart of humanity in which, 
quite as much as in the brain, all civility lies. The past 
was endeared to him by the associations of childhood, 
and he loved it, although he was framed by tern- 



viii Introduction. 

perament and character for the easier circumstance 
of the present ; and he has written of it with a ten- 
derness which does not fail him in his most critical 

moods. 

W. D. HOWELLS. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Birth Welsh AncestryQuaker Origin Boyish Martyrdom for 
Religion Birthright Emigration to America Law against 
Emigration of ManufacturersFamily Castles in Spain 1 

CHAPTER II. 

Various Enterprises Experiences in New York State Earliest 
Memories Sight of the First Steamboat on the Hudson- 
Removal to Virginia Emigration to Ohio Accounts of the 
New Country Singing Fish in the Ohio River Road Wag- 
onsThe Family as Freight Accidents and Adventures in 
the Alleghenies Down the Ohio by Keelboat 6 

CHAPTER III. 

The New Country and New Home Setting up the Woolen 
Mill Drowning of the Pony Boyish Pleasures and Accom- 
plishmentsThe War with England English Sympathies 

Removal to Mount Pleasant More Woolen Mills Set Up A 
Good Offer Removal to Steubenville 14 

CHAPTER IV. 

Again among the Quakers Relation of the Author's Parents to 
them Sketch of Quaker Usages and Customs, Religious and 
Social 21 

CHAPTER V. 

Study at HomeScanty Schooling Early Private Schools- 
Peaches and Wild Fruits First Abolition Society The 
Peace with Great Britain Political Parties Boyish Ad- 
ventures 31 



Contents. 



CHAPTER VI. 

A Quakerless Community Youthful Persecutions Abundance 
of Nuts and Wild Fruits At School School Books Used 
Paper Ink Whipping in School Methodist Meeting An 
Epidemic of Typhoid A Religious Enthusiast Hunting 
Ginseng Bonfires and Buckeyes 38 

CHAPTER VII. 

Buying a Farm A Log Cabin Lighting and Ventilation The 
Cabin Chimney A Neighbor's Family 47 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Moving the Cow and the Pig Sugar Camps Game The Old 
Mill Peach Brandy Peach Leather Woodmanship Old- 
fashioned Axes A New Pony Going to Mill Ghosts and 
Panthers 53 

CHAPTER IX. 

Amateur Farming Wheat Harvest Threshing with the Flail- 
Winnowing Snakes Killing a Copperhead Pigs Killing 
Snakes Pigs in the Woods Their Voracity and Ferocity- 
Pigs Naturally Decent Birds Gunning Pheasants Their 
Habits and Tricks A Family Dog A Brown Smell 62 

CHAPTER X. 

River Islands River Encroachments A Family Fresh from 
England Early Steamboats Excitement of a Boat's Ar- 
rivalSize and Shape of SteamboatsFuel for Boats 71 

CHAPTER XL 

Immense Crop of Peaches Kiln-drying PeachesBuilding a 
Kiln Process of Drying Making Peach Leather Methods ' 
of Cookery Out-ovens for Baking Making an Out-oven. . . 76 



Contents, xi 



CHAPTER XII. 

Mistakes in Farming Plowing with a Pony Cattle in the 
"Woods Memorable Fog The Boatman's Horn Rafts on 
the River 81 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Helping Move to Coshocton County Transportation Driving 
the Stock The Movers' Room at the Tavern Homesick 
Horses A Long Ride Back Camp-meeting in the Rain 
Dismal Experience Another Camp-Meeting One of the 
Mourners Desire for Conversion Unbelief 86 

CHAPTER XIV. 

The Wills Creek Place Given Up Unfitness of the Family for 
Farm Life A New and Better Farm Bought on Mingo Bot- 
tom Want of Schooling A Night Grammar School Gram- 
mar and Plowing Making Sugar The Scotch-Irish A 
Scotch-Irish Neighbor A Character Psychological Expe- 
rience 95 

CHAPTER XV. 

Schism among the Methodists The Newlights Their Theory 
and Practice Their Great Success Washing of Blue Feet 
A Curious Convert An Enemy of Marriage Final Conces- 
sion 103 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Death of the Author's Grandfather in Wales A Small Legacy 
Buying another Farm A Sad Bit of History Moving Out 
to the New Farm Sticking in the Mud with the Ponies- 
Pulling Through 109 



xii Contents. 



CHAPTER XVIL 

Method of Clearing the Land Deadening Burning Logs 
Trees on Fire Opening Up a New Country Hewn-log 
Farm-houses Log Barns Character of the Settlers Preva- 
lence of the Religious Sentiment Calvinism No Politics 
Talked Religious Controversies 115- 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Social Conditions Neither Rich nor Poor Dress Spinning and 
Weaving at HomeStuffs Produced Prices of Cloth Dis- 
tilleries Prevalence of Whiskey Drinking No Temper- 
ance Societies 122 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Absence of Game Wild FruitsCultivated Fruits Supply of 
Snakes Copperhead Bites Exciting Adventure Remedies 
of Copperhead Poison Planting an Orchard Tobacco Rais- 
ing 12T 

CHAPTER XX. 

Going to Mill Water Mills Horse Mills Scarcity of Money- 
Cash Articles Grain Basis Price of Wheat Wages Ohio 
Canal and Work on it Methods of Travel Taverns and 
Tavern -keeping Travel by Carriage Travel on Horseback, 136- 

CHAPTER XXI. 

The Author Opens a Grammar School Not so Popular as Sing- 
ing Schools How Singing was Taught Social Occasions- 
Dancing Sinful Substitutes for it Raisings How the 
Cabins were Built^ Mutual Help -Jolly Gatherings Corn 
Huskings , 142, 



Contents. xiii 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Religious Meetings and Privileges Walking to Meeting Hospi- 
tality and Simplicity Farm Buildings Log Barns Thrash- 
ing Grain Use of the Flail Primitive Method of Winnowing 
Farm Work for the Whole Family Two Oddly Balanced 
Families Law Suits 152 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Failure of the New Farming Experiment Removal to Wheeling 
Author's Efforts to learn the Printing Business Schism in 
the Society of Friends A Quaker Fight in Meeting Hick- 
sites and Orthodox Six Cents Fine and Five Minutes in 
Prison Employment with Alexander Campbell, Founder of 
the Sect of the Disciples Rural Printing Office The Author 
Starts a Magazine 159 

CHAPTER XXIY. 

Starting a Weekly Paper Difficulties of the Author's Position- 
Eclectic Observer A Visionary and his Book The Author's 
Marriage Removal to St. Clairsville Early Married Life 
The Whig Party Founded The Author's Employer 169 

CHAPTER XXV. 

A Local Poet Removal to Mount Pleasant Working for Elisha 
Bates, Orthodox Quaker A Character Cholera Geograph- 
ical Limits of a Pledge Removal to Chillicothe Journey 
Thither Buckeye Festival 175 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

The Scioto Gazette and its Editor A Gifted Man Universal 
Genius The Political Situation The Author Favors Wm. 
Henry Harrison for President Election of 1836 The Thur- 
mans at Chillicothe 182 



xiv Contents. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Farming Again Studying Medicine Public Executions Slave- 
holders 7 Panic in "Wheeling Broken Health Building a 
House The Painter's Trade Tried Financial State of the 
Country Traveling by Carriage to Dayton The Author 
buys the Hamilton Intelligencer Position of Political Par- 
tiesThe Slavery Question 188 

CHAPTER XXVIIL 
[CONCLUSION BY w, D. HOWELLS.] 

Support of Harrison in 1840, and Clay in 1844 Opposition to 
the Mexican War Refusal to Support Taylor, and Removal 
to Dayton Business Failure A Year in the Country A 
Winter in Columbus Removal to Ashtabula County Con- 
genial Political Surroundings Election to the State Senate 
Appointment to Consulate at Quebec Promotion to 
Toronto Resignation Farming in Virginia Return to Jef- 
ferson Declining Years Death 19$ 



RECOLLECTIONS OF LIFE IN OHIO, 

FROM 1813 TO 184O. 



CHAPTER I. 

Birth "Welsh Ancestry Quaker Origin Boyish Martyrdom for Re- 
ligion Birthright Emigration to America Law against Emi- 
gration of Manufacturers Family Castles in Spain. 

I was born in the village of Hay, on the river Wye, 
in the county of Brecon, in South Wales, on the 15th 
of May, 1807. My father, Joseph Howells, was a native 
of the same place, and (as I have heard) was born in the 
same house and same room as myself, in 1783, in the 
month of June. His father, Thomas Howells, who was 
by trade a watchmaker, had followed his business in 
London, where he also married He soon after settled 
in Hay, which was near his native place in the adjoining 
county of Radnor, and engaged in the manufacture of 
Welsh flannels, a favorite style of woolen goods at that 
time. In this he seems to have been very successful, 
and to have accumulated considerable property, which 
gave him the means of maintaining a good social posi- 
tion. He and a brother, William, when young men 
left Eadnor and went to London to begin life as watch- 
makers. Their father was also a watch and clock- 
maker, and it is probable that a genius for mechanics, 
that is active at this time in the family, may have 

descended from him. 

(1) 



2 Recollections of 

My grandmother, being a Londoner, I suppose was 
English. Otherwise the family is all Welsh. Her name 
was Susannah Beesley. She was a superior woman, 
with strong religious sentiment and a taste for poetry, 
which father inherited in a great degree. My mother's 
name was Anne Thomas. She was a native of Pont-y- 
Pool, in Monmouthshire, and her family were "Welsh, 
though educated in English and speaking both lan- 
guages, as was common on the border. Her father, 
John Thomas, was a school teacher; her mother 
died of consumption when the family were young, 
and she was brought up by an uncle and aunt un- 
married brother and sister who lived together and kept 
up their household till both died at advanced age 
for they were the uncle and aunt of her mother, whom 
they also brought up. They were members of the " So- 
ciety of Friends " Quakers in which faith mother was 
educated, though she never became a member. Their 
names were William and Anne Cooper, which names 
were given to me and my eldest sister. 

Father was a Quaker by Convincement, as they 
express it that is, he joined the Society after he had 
grown up, as a matter of choice, and did not hold his 
membership by birthright as is most common. This 
was the case with his father, but his mother was a mem- 
ber of one of the Methodist societies organized by E,ev. 
John Wesley. As my mother was not a member "of the 
Society of Friends, their rule requiring them to marry 
within the Society worked father's expulsion, for a 
breach of discipline, and left them both outside of the 
Society, though they adhered to its faith and customs. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 3 

However, this expulsion was attended by no other dis- 
abilities than exclusion from the " Meetings of Busi- 
ness/' and it was so small a privation that they did not 
take the pains to acquire a membership. Till I was 
ten years old, I was taught to regard Quakerism as the 
true faith, and I very well remember wearing a new 
shad-breasted coat, in the streets of Steubenville, and 
accepting the appellation Quaker with a feeling of cheap 
martyrdom, when applied to me by irreverent boys, 
who, just at the close of the War of 1812, regarded 
Quakers as cowards, and wanting in patriotism, because 
their faith required them to "bear a testimony" 
against war. I had further to stand the test of my per- 
sonal courage, on this account, in sundry scuffles, in 
which my combativeness got the better of my Quakerism. 
At my birth a certificate was given by those pres- 
ent, according to the custom of Friends in England, 
where it was made to serve, in some degree, the pur- 
pose of the parish record. It is a queer looking docu- 
ment, now, being printed on parchment, in blank, and 
filled up with the pen. It is in these words : 

Qn the fifteenth day of the fifth Month, One Thousand 
Eight Hundred, and Seven, "was born in the town of Hay 
in the Parish of Hay, in the County of Brecon, unto 
Joseph Howells and Anne, his wife, a son, who is named 
William Cooper. 

We -who -were present at the said birth, have 
subscribed our names, as -witnesses thereof. 

John Charles Taylor, (The Doctor) 
(Signed) Susan Sweatman, (Father's sister) 

Susan'h Ho~wellS, (Father's mother) 



4 Recollections of 

My father and mother were married in 1805. Their 
first child was a son, who died at birth, making me the 
second of eight in all six sons and two daughters. 

In April, 1808, before I was quite a year old, father 
concluded to emigrate to America. At that time the 
manufacture of wool was a most promising and profit- 
able business in the United States ; and as there was then 
a prospect of war between the two countries, it opened 
a wide field for any one skilled in the business, or who 
could direct the construction of machinery as my father 
could. Though he had not served an apprenticeship 
to the trade, he had incidentally learned it in all its details 
in his father's mills. There was then a statute in force 
in England that prohibited certain skilled workmen in 
wool and cotton manufacturing from emigrating to any 
foreign countries, and especially to the United States. 
Accordingly, when father took passage in London he 
was registered as "gentleman," a term that indicated 
a cabin passenger of no particular trade or profession. 
But he was nevertheless arrested under this statute, 
and detained in London, or rather carried back from 
Gravesend. As there was no evidence of his having 
served an apprenticeship, he was decided to be a gentle- 
man and permitted to join the ship and a most anxious 
wife in the offing. This was a happy relief for mother. 
They made a pleasant passage and landed at Boston, 
after being only twenty-one days out of sight of land. 
It was father's third trip across the Atlantic, the two 
previous ones being shorter. He visited this country in 
1801, and made a few months' experiment at farming, in 
Chester or Delaware county, Pennsylvania. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 5 

I have often heard that my grandfather made a 
journey to this country, during the presidency of Gen- 
eral "Washington, bringing with him a quantity of "Welsh 
flannels, which he sold to good advantage. He landed 
these at Philadelphia, where he made the acquaintance 
of the President, who recommended him to settle in 
Virginia, near the new City of Washington then just 
founded. He fell in with this project, so far as to bar- 
gain for a large tract of land near the Potomac, for 
which he was to pay an English shilling per acre. But 
after returning to England he gave it up. I have never 
learned exactly where the land was, but if the tract was 
as large as I have heard it was several thousand acres 
there is no doubt that much of it is not worth a shilling 
an acre now. Some members of grandfather's family 
have fancied that we had " castles in Spain " on this 
land. But I could never learn that he ever acquired 
any title to the land ; and I think his good business 
habits forbid the supposition that he laid out money 
in such a speculation. Had he then come to this coun- 
try, I incline to think he would have made a handsome 
fortune ; for he had more tact and skill in matters of 
the world than my father. 



Recollections of 



CHAPTER II. 

Various Enterprises Experiences in New York State Earliest 
Memories Sight of the First Steamboat on the Hudson Be- 
moval to Virginia Emigration to Ohio Accounts of the New 
Country Singing Fish in the Ohio River Eoad Wagons The 
Family as Freight Accidents and Adventures in the Alleghe- 
nies Down the Ohio by Keelboat. 

Father came to America, armed with letters of in- 
troduction, mostly to Quakers, and an acquaintance with 
American Quakers who had visited England. By this 
means he was directed to the various settlements of 
these people in neighborhood of New York and Pough- 
keepsie. Several of the more enterprising Quakers on 
the Hudson and elsewhere were a"bout going into man- 
ufacturing, for they seemed inclined to make the most of 
a profitable business that was likely to result from the 
war then expected, "With some of these father made 
engagements to put woolen factories in operation, con- 
tingent upon certain events. The delays and un- 
certainties of these enterprises soon used up his means, 
which were considerable, but not sufficient to stand his 
manner of living as he had learned it in his Welsh 
home. It was not long therefore till he found himself 
very poor, and obliged to accept any market for his 
skill that might offer. His time had been taken up for 
over a year after his arrival in traveling from place to 
place, looking about for business, and dancing attend- 
ance upon large-talking men at different points. At 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 7 

one time he made a trip to Washington to meet a 
brother-in-law of President Madison, who invited him 
there to consult upon the prospective advantages of 
manufacturing in Virginia. This ended in a decision 
to wait till war should be declared, and a heavy bill of 
expense to father, who was being crushed between pride 
and poverty 

After three weeks' stay in Boston, a place of which 
mother always spoke in high terms, from what little she 
saw of it (her admiration, I suspect, was largely in- 
spired by the fact that several young ladies of the family 
where they boarded took a great deal of notice of me as 
the darling of a young mother, teaching me to walk, etc.), 
father went to Dutchess county, New York, and made 
his temporary home at or near New Cornwall. From 
this point he journeyed in search of business. Here also 
he put in operation one or two small factories one, I 
believe, at Pleasant Valley. Removing soon after to 
Manhattanville, now within the city limits of New York, 
but then seven miles from the city, he started a factory 
for John Barrow, a Quaker, in which enterprise he was 
engaged till the spring of 1812. Of this place I have 
pretty distinct recollection, as to the shape of the ground, 
the rocks glistering with mica, the forests near the Hud- 
son, and both the rivers, which were in sight from the 
house we lived in. I remember the great quantities 
of shad that were cleaned and packed every spring, 
on the edge of the " Harlem river/ 5 as it was called, 
which, I suppose, must have been caught in the Hud- 
son. I recollect going to the shore of the Hudson with 
my father and others to look at a steamboat which 



8 Recollections of 

landed there, and which, from the date, must have been 
one of the first ever built, and it may have been the first, 
as it was then In use on that river. At this place I 
learned to read, my mother being my teacher, and she 
has told me that I could read very well before I was four 
years old, though it seems to me as if I could always 
read, for I have no recollection of learning, 

In the early part of 1812 father moved to Water- 
ford, in London county, Virginia, where he had been 
engaged by Thomas Moore, also a Quaker, to start a 
woolen factory for him. This occupied a year, and, per- 
haps, was the end of his engagement. I remember that 1 
the mill was put in operation before we left. The coun- 
try and village, and the people of the region fill a sunny 
spot on the page of my memory. Here father made an 
engagement with a Quaker by the name -of Joseph Steer 
to build a factory and start it for him at his mills, on 
Short creek, Jefferson county, Ohio. Up to this time 
father's business engagements had been chiefly with 
Friends, and his moves were made from one Quaker 
settlement to another. Though their settlements were 
often great distances apart, this peculiar people seemed 
to keep up a constant intercourse, like the members of a 
family (and such they were in a manner) that reduced 
distance, and greatly facilitated the changes of residence 
necessary in that early day. 

This engagement opened a new era in our history 
and settled us in the then new West, in the State of 
Ohio, which, I remember, mother pronounced Ohoyo, 
and I followed, believing it to be right because mother 
did. The winter before we started every body that had 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 9 

"been over the mountains was invited to call and tell us 
of the country, and to these descriptions I listened with 
hope and delight. Among the glorious things I remem- 
ber hearing of Ohio, the making of maple-sugar was prom- 
inent. I also heard them talk of singing fish in the Ohio, 
which so impressed me that I listened for the song of 
the fish as soon as we reached the Monongahela. I 
have since heard these singing fish, which are said to be 
the white perch, making a low and very musical hum, 
just about sunset of a June evening, when they would 
gather beneath a ferry flat-boat, and follow it backward 
and forward across the river. The sound they give forth 
is very sweet, but varied by only two or three notes, 
and much like the sound made by a silk string fixed 
in a window. 

The journey from Virginia to Ohio is quite clear in 
my memory, though it was just at the close of my sixth 
year. At that day the roads over the Alleghanies were 
in a very rough condition, though the National or Cum- 
berland road was partly made, and in the spring of 1813 
there were considerable stretches of it used by the 
wagoners. For emigrants and the transportation of 
freight there was no mode of conveyance but the large 
" road wagons," as they were called, usually drawn by 
five or six horses, and carrying sixty or seventy hundred 
weight. There were several routes by which these 
wagons approached the mountains, but after passing 
Cumberland they followed the one road, known as Brad- 
dock's trail, which struck the Monongahela river at 
Brownsville, or Bed Stone Fort, passing down the 
Laurel Hill, near Uniontown, then called Beesonstown. 



10 Eecollections of 

The wagoners usually traveled in groups for company 
and to assist one another by doubling teams on the steep 
hills, and to help in 'case of accidents. I remember that 
there were three wagons in our company or caravan. 
Father had engaged Thomas Birchard, who owned 
a five-horse wagon, to take what household stuff he de- 
signed to move which was, of course brought down to 
the narrowest limits, and was made up chiefly of cloth- 
ing, bedding, books, and the various smaller articles, 
including cooking utensils (these did not embrace a 
stove), that could not be replaced in the new country to 
Brownsville, for a given price per hundred ; my impres- 
sion is that it was between three and four dollars a cwt. 
(112 Ibs.). The freight included my mother and the chil- 
dren, who were duly weighed before starting. Father 
had brought a pony mare, which he was to ride. Of 
course, at the slow rate we traveled, one portion of the 
freight walked more or less of the way. I know I did, 
and sometimes rode the pony behind my father. "We 
did not take up much space in the wagon, for mother 
was quite a small woman, I six years old, my sister four, 
and my brother a little over one year old. The wagon 
had been mainly loaded at Baltimore or Alexandria, and 
our establishment being added to what was already 
a pretty fair freight, there was very little room for pas- 
sengers. 

I very well recollect how my mother and we chil- 
dren sat upon the top of the load, just under the canvas 
covering of the wagon. Our beds and softer packages 
were placed so as to improve the situation as much as 
possible ; but it was a trying experience for my mother, 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 11 

who had been delicately brought up and accustomed to 
the comforts of English traveling. Perhaps the younger 
people now might ask why my father did not get some 
light carriage in which the pony could have dra^n my 
mother and the children. The answer is, there was not 
such a thing in the whole country; for all the light 
carriages of the present, such as buggies, spring wagons, 
dearborns, etc., were wholly unknown. To have pro- 
vided what would now be called comfortable going for 
them, would have required the purchase of a pair of 
horses and a carriage worth five hundred or eight 
hundred dollars. There were no. vehicles between 
wagons and very fine carriages and two-wheeled gigs 
or chaises, so that the manner of travel we adopted 
was the only one that could have been used by any 
one of the small means to which my father was re- 
duced. To add to our difficulties and discomfort, the 
day after we started the measles made their appear- 
ance on me, and ran through the family on the journey ; 
though we reached Brownville before the other children 
were taken down. Fortunately, at this point, we left 
the wagon and came the rest of the way by water ; and 
we were hospitably entertained by one of our Quaker 
friends in his house till the children were recovered and 
we could get a boat. 

One of the wagons that traveled in company with 
ours was an inferior concern with four horses, and had 
taken in, on top of its load, a family of negroes. As 
the wagons went very slowly, we mostly walked where 
the roads were rough, and especially down hill, where 
there was the greatest danger of upsetting. This mother 



12 Recollections of 

and the children were doing as we came down Laurel 
Hill, one of the principal mountains on the way, which 
our wagon descended safely ; but that with the negro 
family upset, tumbling the darkies who insisted on 
riding in every direction, though none were seriously 
hurt. The wagon had to be unloaded and taken for- 
ward to a blacksmith's at Tomlinson's, then the great 
stopping place and tavern, at which the wagoners put 
in before ascending the mountain and after coming 
down. Here we stayed all night, and I remember 
mother telling us to listen to the howling of the wolves 
in the mountain as we stood in the door. On our route 
we passed through Charlestown, now famous from the 
name of John Brown. We stopped there over night, 
and I remember, when walking along the street, seeing 
a whipping-post, which father explained to me. 

To shorten his trip, Mr. Birchard, the wagoner, un- 
loaded and returned from Brownsville, and as the 
Monongahela was in good boating stage, we took pass- 
age on a flat-boat for Pittsburgh, which was a delightful 
change in our mode of travel. This boat, I think, must 
have been an empty one on its way to Pittsburgh to 
load, for I remember that we had plenty of room in it, 
and that we had to leave it at that point, where, after a 
short delay, we embarked upon a keel-boat to proceed 
down the Ohio on our voyage which was to terminate 
at Warrenton, a point fourteen miles below Steubenville 
to the mouth of Short creek, in Jefferson county. I sup- 
pose the boat must have made a coasting trip, for we 
stopped at Beaver, Steubenville, and other points, taking 
three days to make the eighty-five miles from Pittsburgh. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 18 

This brought us to within three miles of the end of our 
journey, which was finished in some conveyance sent 
down from Steer's Mill. I can well remember my mother's 
delight at getting through with the tiresome trip, which 
had been to me a panorama of delightful novelty; but to 
her who still pined for the home she had left in Wales 
it was an added four hundred miles in the distance 
of her exile, and was marked at every mile with in- 
creased care and fatigue and lessened hope. 



14 Recollections of 



CHAPTER III. 

The New Country and New Home Setting up the Woolen Mill 
Drowning of the Pony Boyish Pleasures and Accomplishments 
The War with England English Sympathies Eemoval to 
Mount Pleasant More Woolen Mills Set Up A Good Offer 
Eemoval to Steubenville. 

The part of OMo into which we came, in 1813, was 
one of the best improved in the state. The country was 
well cleared up and settled by thrifty, and, in some in- 
stances, wealthy farmers. The excellent mill-stream of 
Short creek then much better than now on its whole 
twenty-five miles of length, had a good flouring mill at 
every available site, and one respectable paper mill. Mount 
Pleasant, the town where we went to meeting and for 
what little trade we did, was a larger and more prosper- 
ous place than it is now, after fifty-five years, and had six 
or seven hundred inhabitants, while Steubenville boasted 
of two thousand and extensive manufactures. Still it was 
a new country and life in it was attended with, number- 
less inconveniences. As soon as the family was settled 
in a good hewed-log house, with shingle roof, my 
father set about his preparations for manufacturing 
wool, according to his engagement. But while we 
were on the way from Virginia, Steer's flouring mill, 
which was an extensive one, was burned down, and on 
our arrival they were busy rebuilding it, and building 
a house for the woolen mill also. This retarded father's 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 15 

work, as the fire had crippled the means of the propri- 
etor. But father had the direction of mechanics, who 
built machinery from his drafts and explanations, in a 
very primitive way. A blacksmith near by, who made 
axes, did the work in steel and iron including the forg- 
ing of the spindles, which was a rather particular job, 
as they had to be made round with the file as well as 
other work by hand that would have been properly done 
on a lathe. The summer was taken up with the building 
of the house and machinery, and it was pretty well into 
the winter before the factory was started. So far as I 
know it did well enough as a small concern ; but for 
some reason that I did not understand, father gave it up 
at the end of his first year's engagement and moved to 
Mount Pleasant. 

At these mills we lost the little mare that father 
brought from Virginia, by an accident that impressed 
me very sorrowfully. Father had taken two of the 
children of the black family that came with us over the 
mountains as apprenticed servants a boy named Zacha- 
riah (for short, Zack) aboutfourteen years old, and eminent 
for laziness and stupidity, and his sister Delilah, both of 
whom we let off on easy terms in a few months. It 
seems that father had to collect wood for burning as the 
winter came on, and he put poor Peggy in a cart, with 
Zack to drive, and haul some wood from the creek 
bank, and as a small boy I went along. The cart was 
loaded and Zack started to drive home, when he got one 
wheel of the. cart into a rut; father lifted at the wheel 
and Zack whipped up and hallooed, when the mare pulled 
out of the mud, and ran so near the edge of the bank 



16 Recollections of 

that one wheel went over, and the cart and door little 
mare turned upside down into the water, where it was 
deep enough to drown her in that situation. I can now 
see father in the water making frantic efforts to turn 
her over, and then trying to hold her head up while he 
sent Zack for a knife to cut the harness. I ran hastily 
to the nearest house for one, but Zack went double the 
distance home for it. I was first back with the knife, 
though it was of no use as poor Peggy had been 
drowned. It was a loss of some sixty dollars to father 
and of many a ride to me, beside the pain of losing a 
favorite animal and a family pet. 

The situation at the mills was, I should think, 
a rather pleasant one to persons who felt at home, but 
it was not so with my poor mother. She was proud and 
we were poor; and I have no doubt she suffered from 
home-sickness pains which I knew nothing of, and 
which father could soothe only by pleading his ne- 
cessities. I enjoyed our life, of course. The house 
stood close to the mill race where I caught my first 
fish three, I remember one morning, as fast as I 
could put in the hook and throw them into the 
kitchen door. This charmed hook I lost soon after- 
ward by getting it fast in some driftwood in the creek. 
From a little stream that tumbled down the hill into the 
creek opposite the house, I observed and settled in my 
mind the fact that water always ran down hill and never 
up. Though only six years and a half old, I was very 
proud, as were my parents, of my acquirements, for I 
could read well and had committed to memory a num- 
ber of "Watts's hymns and some of Gowper's poetry, 
including the whole of John Gilpin. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 17 

The war with. England was now fairly begun ; and 
I recollect the news of battles and victories were much 
talked of by men at the mills. Father, as a Quaker, 
disliked the war, and, in addition, had an affection for 
his native country that checked any interest in such 
news. One of the men once told him of a victory over 
the British and asked him very gleefully if he was not 
glad. Father indignantly told him ? No ; he was not glad 
to hear of any battle, and still less could he rejoice over 
the killing of so many of his countrymen. I fell in with 
this spirit, and, as a child, said what I thought, and was 
of course called a Tory and British by older ones who 
thus amused themselves at my childish earnestness. On 
one occasion some young men were teasing me, and pro- 
posed to hang me as an enemy to the country. I was 
terrified to some extent, but kept up a brave exterior, 
and told them I was only sent over from England as a 
show of what Englishmen were. This precocious piece 
of national vanity struck them as funny, and they 
laughed loudly over it ; and the next day, when I .was 
present, some of them told father, seeming to regard it 
as smart. Father frowned and reproved me for talking 
such nonsense. I began to see that my remark was 
silly, and was sadly mortified, and felt so disgraced that 
I always after avoided the subject. 

Father having made arrangements to go to Mount 
Pleasant, he joined'two brothers of the name of Hunt, 
Samuel and Jonathan, who owned a large horse-power 
mill, which they converted into a factory for woolen 
work; but it took a good while to get it ready, and 
we were delayed in moving till late in the spring. 



18 Recollections of 

After getting to our new place, father went to work in 
great spirits; and soon after, he and the Hunts were 
joined by a Scotchman, Thomas Donaldson, whom we 
had known in Virginia. He introduced the spinning 
of flax as an addition to the business. This required 
new machinery, which they set about building. My. 
recollection is that it was well into the winter before 
they got ready to spin any flax, and when they tried it 
they failed, because the flax required to be kept moist, 
and the house was so open that they could not keep it 
from freezing. On some mild days they made very nice 
thread of flax, and with a coarser machine they made a 
good deal of tow twine, which they wove into some 
coarse fabric. But they were,' as I suppose, compelled 
by poverty to give it up, and the partnership was dis- 
solved. 

After this, which exhausted another year of fruit- 
less labor, father began alone, being assisted by credit 
from John Hogg, an enterprising Englishman, who kept 
a store. Under this arrangement father built a house 
for a factory, in a part of which he finished off rooms 
for us to live. He got together machinery for carding 
and spinning wool for country customers, they being 
mostly satisfied with the carding, from which they spun 
it at home. This carding brought in some return for 
work a thing that did not happen to any great extent 
to the four partners the year before. The delay in build- 
ing must have exhausted all father had of means before 
any thing was earned; for I can well remember the 
straitened manner of our living, and the distress of 
father and mother under the circumstances. He worked 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 19 

hard ; and I, who was in my ninth and tenth years, did 
what I could to help in tending the carding machine 
and splicing the rolls for the spinning machine, a pro- 
cess now gone out of use. The machines were propelled 
by horse power, which was supplied by a blind horse 
that we called Charley, whose duties extended to carry- 
ing us when not at the wheel. My brother Thomas, 
though very young, was sometimes detailed to drive 
Charley when at the wheel. It was early in 1815 when 
father began to build, within which year he got started ; 
but this kind of life continued till June, 1816, when one 
day John Arthur, one of the hands who worked under 
father at Steer's factory, came as a messenger from a 
Steubenville factory, where he then worked, with an 
offer to father to come and take charge of the carding 
room (which contained eight or ten machines attended 
by boys) at a salary of five hundred dollars a year. This 
was an unexpected turn of affairs. Father's business 
was neither very prosperous nor promising, and he was 
deeply in debt, chiefly to John Hogg. He told Ar- 
thur that he would want a short time to consider the 
proposal he brought, and he could occupy it in feeding 
his horse. A family council was called, in which I took 
part, and it was decided that the offer should be ac- 
cepted, and the next day or so he started, leaving a 
large lot of wool to be carded. A well -grown boy, who 
knew something about the business, was employed ; and 
he and I, with mother to look after the business and ac- 
counts, finished up the carding to the satisfaction of the 
customers. This took up a few weeks' time ; but the 
family was removed to Steubenville in August. Mr. 



20 Recollections of 

Hogg befriended father, took the concern off his hands 
at a tolerably good price perhaps all it was worth and 
assumed all the debts that the balance over his own dues 
would pay, though many troublesome ones remained to 
haunt us for some years afterward. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 21 



CHAPTEE IV. 

Again among the Quakers Eelation of the Author's Parents to 
them Sketch of Quaker Usages and Customs, Bellgious and 
Social. 

Our life in Mount Pleasant must have been a try- 
ing one to father and mother ; for there was much time 
lost for them in non-paying labor, and they both had 
constant hard work to do ? with very little return for the 
labor they performed. Years were used up in getting 
ready to do something, while the expenses of living 
went on. It was a great mistake here that father did 
not take to school teaching, as any Yankee would have 
done, and for which he was well qualified, and at which 
he might have been well employed. But he had very 
little genius for adapting himself to new scenes and new 
circumstances. Our social position in this place was as 
good as the best, in spite of our poverty ; but neither 
father nor mother would presume upon it or use it in the 
least, and in their discouraged state of mind they even 
neglected advantages that fairly belonged to them by 
virtue of it. The people were neighborly, and our 
Quaker friends did much to make it agreeable to us. 
At this time neither father nor mother belonged to any 
church, but they regularly attended the meetings for 
worship of the Quakers or " Society of Friends," as 
they called themselves. They treated us socially as if 
we belonged to them, and we observed their manners in 



22 Recollections of 

dress and used "the plain language " that is, we ad- 
dressing each other in the second person singular, and 
not the plural, you; though it was ungrammatically 
done by using the objective form of the pronoun, thee, 
for the nominative, which left it without the warrant of 
correctness, on which they defended that departure from 
custom. 

The Quakers in an early day bore a testimony, as 
they expressed it, against the fashions of their time in 
dress and language. To do this they adopted the cos- 
tume well known as theirs every-where, which was 
simply continuing the use of the plain style of the 
period. In language they carefully eschewed all com- 
plimentary forms of address, insisting that all men were 
equal, and that none were entitled to titles or terms 
of address indicating any superior position. They said 
these titles were always false in their application, and 
that the use of the plural pronoun you was a like false 
pretense that the person addressed was of more conse- 
quence than a single individual, though in this they 
were mistaken, for the complimentary use of you grew 
rather from an intent to avoid an improper familiarity 
with the person addressed, for we find that oblique form 
of address expressed in other languages by other words. 
But the Quakers stoutly insisted upon the use of our 
solemn style in this respect, and said thou, thy, and thee 
scrupulously in every case of singular address. But 
there was a stiffness about the use of thou instead of you 
that bothered the off-handed among them, and they, not 
disposed to keep up the strain of the solemn style, would 
substitute thee for thou, and say thee is, thee does, etc.; and 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 23 

this became so established that thou was rarely heard ; 
but they steadily avoided you; for this was the great 
point with them. In England they addressed the king 
as George, and would not take off their hats on entering 
his presence. They would not address a man as Mister 
or a woman as Mistress, because this was bestowing 
upon them homage that was due only to God. The 
Friends also bore a testimony against judicial oaths, in- 
sisting that they were unchristian, and that a solemn af- 
firmation of a fact was all that ought to be asked of a 
man when giving evidence. Indeed, they rather bore 
the same testimony against all civil governments that 
enforced their authority or defended their nationality 
by war. They sturdily refused to pay military fines 
or assessments, and would suffer their property to 
be taken for such purposes rather than resist by any 
force. Against slavery they also came to bear a testi- 
mony, and we find Benjamin Lay and John Wool- 
man constantly preaching against the evil of holding 
slaves among Friends in their day. "Within my memory 
they have been anti-slavery as a Society. The very 
earliest Quakers, like the Puritans, did not hesitate to 
fight, and were no doubt equally prudent in keeping 
water from their powder. Indeed, they appear at first 
to have made their stand against the absurd and un- 
christian formalities of the Church, dress, manners, etc. 
They came to take the like stand in after years against 
evils greatly prevalent, like slavery, war, and the mak- 
ing and use of intoxicating drinks. Their discipline 
forbade their selling or giving grain for distillation, or 
even making whisky barrels or bottles. Religiously, 



24 Recollections of 

they rejected all forms and ceremonies, and particularly 
they denounced a hireling priesthood. They held that 
Baptism and the Supper were to be received spiritually. 
In their meetings for worship, certain persons were 
recognized by common consent as ministers, who, if 
moved by the spirit, might preach, or pray publicly as 
the Presbyterians say, " lead in prayer." The custom is 
for their meetings for worship to " gather," as they say, 
at eleven o'clock A. M. on Sunday and Wednesday that 
is, every Mrst day and Fourth day for they call the days 
of the week and the months by their numbers, and not 
the common names, which they say are heathenish 
terms. They enter the house very quietly, the men 
seating themselves on the right and the women on the 
left side of the house, in free seats, all alike. Two or 
three seats, rising like a gallery, are placed at the back 
of the house, that is, farthest from the entrance door, 
and facing the congregation, or meeting, as they call it. 
On these are seated any ministers present, and certain 
ones who have been designated as Elders. After taking 
their seats, all sit in perfect stillness and silence, with or 
without their hats on, as they prefer, and, as they ex- 
press it, " wait." If no one is moved to speak, in about 
an hour, the Elders turn to each other and shake hands, 
and then the " meeting breaks." If any one is moved 
to speak, he or she for women preach as well as men 
rises, uncovers the head, and begins, very slowly at first, 
and then warming up into more rapid utterance, in a 
sort of a chanting or half-singing tone. If the remarks 
are short, there will be silence for a time, when the same 
speaker or another may rise again and continue the sub- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 25 

ject. But the silence may be followed by a prayer, 
when the one uttering the prayer solemnly rises, 
pauses till attention is obtained, then kneels down, 
when all the congregation rise (the men uncovering 
their heads) and remain standing till the prayer is 
closed. There is no such thing as singing or music tol- 
erated by them at any time. If distinguished " public 
Friends " that is, preachers of note from abroad are 
present, they usually preach and pray. At their week- 
day meetings, business of the Society is transacted, at a 
session after the worship, when the members only re- 
main in their seats at the adjournment. At these busi- 
ness meetings the men and women transact their busi- 
ness separately, and for this purpose their meeting- 
houses are usually so constructed that the two sides of 
the house can be divided by sliding partitions. Their 
church polity is very simple and yet well arranged. A 
convenient number of Societies is grouped together as a 
" Monthly Meeting/' having a session on some week- 
day, when matters of a more general nature are disposed 
of than at the Society's meeting. Here all marriages 
take place, though I believe they are announced at the 
weekly meetings. Special meetings are sometimes 
called for marriages, though this is very seldom. 
Monthly Meetings are grouped into Quarterly Meetings, 
where business is managed by the Elders, and these 
again are grouped into Yearly Meetings, which consti- 
tute the event of each year within their limits. The do- 
mestic affairs of families and neighborhoods are mate- 
rially affected by their recurrence. The farm work is 
adjusted to the occasion so as to leave leisure for attend- 



26 Recollections of 

ing the Yearly Meeting, to Bay nothing of provision for 
entertaining " friends from a distance/' the buying and 
making up of new clothes, etc. Even trade is subject 
to the period. All through a Quaker neighborhood 
Yearly Meeting makes stir and lively times on its ap- 
proach, and equivalent dullness on its departure. I 
recollect a characteristic remark of a young Quaker 
printer, who had just stepped over the Society's bounds 
for the first time to look for work, and was talking with 
me (in Wheeling, W. Va.) about traveling as a journey- 
man. I said something about New Orleans, then nearly 
the only place where printers fou^d work and good 
wages, remarking that I heard it was dull there. " Oh, 
yes/ 3 said he, " Yearly Meeting is over, and there won't 
be much doing." 

Any member in good standing is entitled to a seat in 
these meetings, except those sessions known as " Meet- 
ings of Ministers and Elders." " The Meeting for Suf- 
ferings " is a curious term they have for what is their 
committee of ways and means, sitting as a committee of 
the whole. All the decisions of questions arising in any 
of their meetings are regarded as unanimous if no ob- 
jection is made. The voice of the meeting is expressed 
by silent approval or stated objection to the question : Is 
the measure approved ? If objection is made the ques- 
tion is further discussed or laid over for another time, 
or finally dropped. But there is a practice among them 
of deferring to the opinions of the aged and experienced 
or confessedly influential members, whom they know as 
" weighty Friends," that stands very much in the way of 
opposition in any manifest manner. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 27 

Their marriages are mutual ; the legal license is dis- 
pensed with, and the marriage is announced at some 
public meeting some time before hand. The ceremony 
takes place in meeting, when the man and his attend- 
ants take their seats in the Elder's gallery, on the woman's 
side of the house. At the close of the meeting for wor- 
ship, it is given out that so and so will then be married, 
when they rise, and each declares that the other is then 
taken as a partner for life, each pledging love and faith- 
fulness till death. A marriage certificate is then made 
out, and voluntarily signed by friends, and the marriage 
duly recorded. 

Of the religious doctrines of Friends, there is not 
much certainty. Their old books that treat of this sub- 
ject are very vague, and deal more in pious experiences 
and protests against ceremonials and extravagances of 
living and dress, rather than any particular forms of 
doctrine. They held to the freedom of the will and 
consequent moral responsibility. Judging from some 
tracts by William Penn and others of his time it is 
doubtful if they accepted the doctrines of the English 
Church respecting the Trinity or Vicarious Atonement. 
They are now divided into Orthodox and Hicksites ; and 
this division has nearly been the death of them. The 
Orthodox, since that division, which became final in 
1828, hold pretty much the same doctrine as the so-called 
Orthodox Churches, or more properly the Methodists. 
Their confession of faith was formulated by Elisha 
Bates, who had a personal difference with Elias Hicks, 
a man of much distinction and a rival of Bates in many 
respects. I knew Bates pretty well, having worked for 



28 Recollections of 

him as a printer about a year, and I never could escape 
the impression that Bates was led to push this distinc- 
tion of doctrine to a point that would give Hicks the 
appearance of heresy from a feeling of personal antag- 
onism to the man himself. The Hicksites at this time 
pretty generally resemble the Unitarians ; and they are 
about as destitute as ever of any well defined religious 
ideas. As neither party uses any doctrinal tests on 
points of faith, each individual has his own view, and 
holds it at his own convenience. 

It ought to be borne in mind that the Quakers 
really never called themselves a church, but were known 
from the first as " The Religious Society of Friends." 
They began by protesting against the vanities, pride, and 
social exclusiveness that prevailed in their early day, about 
two hundred years ago, among those who professed to be 
Christians, and particularly against the abuses in the es- 
tablished religion of their times. They were Puritans 
who outwent the Puritans in every thing but their in- 
tolerance. They denounced evil and sinful practices 
with great vehemence ; but they observed charity toward 
those whom they regarded as misled. Taking their rise 
in the seventeenth century, they shared the severity of 
manner that marked all the earnest men of that time, 
and did many very extravagant things. They were re- 
ligious enthusiasts, in antagonism to the rank infidelity 
prevailing at that period even in the Church itself; and 
they insisted that the Holy Spirit guided every con- 
scientious individual through life and influenced him 
and his conduct that this spirit became an inward 
monitor, directing his impulses, and as such was entitled 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 29 

to obedience. They held that every man bora into the 
world was given a light to guide him. They accepted 
the Bible as of divine authority, but did not believe 
that all inspiration was confined to it. In short, they 
held that when they preached or prayed, the Spirit of 
Truth guided them. This was the confessed belief of the 
Church of that day ; but it was the actual belief of the 
Quakers. 

After the first heat of their early enthusiasm was 
dissipated, they settled down into a most orderly and 
prudent fraternity practically religious, while free from 
all doctrinal controversies. Their labor, socially, was 
divided between their religious duties of devotional 
piety and worship, and the religious duties that em- 
braced all works of charity and kindness to men at 
large, and the care of the spiritual interests of their own 
members. They were bound to each other as one fam 
ily ; and they held it as a primary duty to assist each 
other in all cases when assistance was needed. The sick 
and poor among them were always saved from want; 
and they observed the wiser policy of assisting any one 
who was badly off to help himself. They fully recog- 
nized the idea of man's equality, and recognized it prac- 
tically by discarding all distinctions among men, not 
based upon some use or duty. ' Their scrupulous regard 
for the feelings of each other, and the care with which 
they considered the self respect of the poor or the un- 
thrifty, bred among them a spirit of earnest though 
plain politeness, that was really beautiful. As each one 
was born a member of the Society, they came under 
training pretty early in life ; and there were very few 



30 Recollections of 

exceptions among them to genuine good breeding. And 
yet I have met with some exceptions, and they were 
intensified specimens of brutal rudeness. Bred care- 
fully from early life to good morals they were exemplary 
as a body, and the grosser sins were little known among 
them ; though absolute purity of morals did not charac- 
terize them of later years more than other professedly 
religious people. This sketch of the Quakers may cast 
some light upon our mode of life in Mount Pleasant. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 31 



CHAPTER V. 

Study at Home Scanty Schooling Early Private Schools Peaches 
and Wild Fruits First Abolition Society The Peace with Great 
Britain Political Parties Boyish Adventures. 

My recollections of life in Mount Pleasant are very 
pleasant, though tinged with the shadow of our pov-' 
erty. The first year or too, I did little beyond going to 
school a short time, and taking lessons from mother in 
the usual school studies ; I made about as good progress 
at home as at school. I think that my school going 
must have been limited in all to about one quarter 
three months some four or five weeks to fill out a 
term to a mistress that my sister had begun, and a 
couple of months in the winter to a master. This, with 
two quarters in 1816-17, in Steubenville, and sixteen 
evenings at a school specially for grammar, made up the 
entire amount of my schooling. "Whatever else of edu- 
cation I received was at home with mother as my teacher, 
or studying by myself. I do not speak of father as 
teaching me. It was not because he was not so capable 
to teach as mother, but he seemed to hand it over to 
her as something she took more interest in. I gath- 
ered a great deal of information from him, but it 
was mostly in conversations. And indeed, I learned the 
half or more of all I did learn when a boy, in the course 
of conversations with men. I was in the habit of talk- 
ing to all who would talk, and never scrupled to ask a 



82 Eecollections of 

question If the answer was to bring information; and I 
found, too, that men were rather disposed to encourage 
me, and delight in answering questions that were not 
personal or impertinent. I read some of the books we 

had, and borrowed others, and always talked tip any 
thing I read, when I found any one ready to talk. It is to 
be remembered, that the common school system of Ohio 
was not even provided for by the first act. for its estab- 
lishment till ten years after my school days, and fully 
ten years were spent in getting it into operation through- 
out the state. It was commenced about 1825-6. Before 
it became general the schools were supported by private 
subscriptions. School-houses were built in villages and 
country neighborhoods as churches are built, by public 
union of private contributions. 

In this sunny period of childhood, over which a 
cloud now and then brooded, my sister and I wandered 
about the fields and woods adjoining the village and 
gathered flowers along with her playmates. Among 
the glories of the place I remember unlimited crops of 
peaches that, at that period, grew to great perfection in 
the new soil of the country. The lands there had been 
taken up or bought in small lots of forty, eighty, one 
hundred and sixty, or very rarely three hundred and 
twenty acres, the owners of which settled upon them 
and built log cabins and planted little orchards. These 
orchards were set with apple trees as the principal crop ? 
but the rows were interalternated with peach trees, which 
grew more rapidly and were expected to die out by the 
time the apple trees came into good bearing. At this 
time the peaches had reached their prime, and almost 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 33 

every year they bore abundant crops, of which any one 
could gather for the asking. Cherries were of slower 
growth, and had not come forward every-where, but 
they were planted along the fences on the roads and 
soon became common property. Besides these there 
were wild plums, grapes and nuts, that helped to make 
the country charming to a boy. 

As a less agreeable incident of our life there, I re- 
member my sister getting her arm broken, with great 
risk of being killed. They were hauling timber for 
our new building, dragging one end of the log on the 
ground, while the other rested on the wagon. She got 
on the log to ride, and falling off, was drawn under it, 
and was saved from death by father's lifting the log as 
it passed over her. 

About this time there were frequent meetings of an 
" abolition society " that father attended. I well recollect 
hearing him talk of it to mother, and of its object, which 
was not accomplished till 1865, fifty years later. Among 
those who attended were Benjamin Lundy and Charles 
Hammond, the latter then editor of the Ohio Feder- 
alist, at St. Clairsville, and afterwards of the Cincinnati 
Gazette. 

The war with England closed in the beginning of 
1815. We got news sometime in the winter of the bat- 
tle of !New Orleans, at which all who were not Quakers 
rejoiced and illuminated their houses and paraded the 
streets, making joyful demonstrations. The Quakers 
kept dark and dumb, and were abused for it, of course. 
The account of the battle was soon after followed by 
the news of peace, which had been concluded before the 



34= Recollections of 

battle was fought, though neither party knew it. This 
was also an occasion of rejoicing, in which the Quakers 
were expected to take part, as some of them did, though 
most of them held that they ought not to take any part 
in it. Father, though earnestly rejoicing in the peace, 
held this view of it; and when the hilarious crowd came 
by our house they hallooed, " Dark house again !" 

The political parties then were, the Democrats, who 
were the war party, and the Federalists, who were op- 
posed to it, and were for peace. The Quakers, so far as 
they took part in it, were Federalists, as a matter of 
course. I was a Federalist because we were against the 
war, and this was my first political position. 

After father left for Steubenville he would remain 
there about two weeks at a time, coming home each 
fortnight. The distance was twenty-one miles seven 
to Warren, on the bank of the river, and fourteen up 
the bank from that point. The day he was first 'to re- 
turn, I was started off very early to meet him with a 
horse, which he and I were to ride back. I was a little 
over nine years old; the horse was much older, and safely 
lazy. It was a great enterprise for me, and my direc- 
tions were to go fourteen miles of the way, which 
brought me to Wellsville (then Charleston), where I 
was to wait for father at the tavern and ferry house. 
The people here happened to know him, and treated 
me very kindly and talked encouragingly. I waited 
until afternoon and then began to grow very uneasy. I 
fretted, and looked up the road till two o'clock, and 
then got out the horse and went a mile or so up the 
river bank, where the hill and rocks came down almost 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 35 

to the water, and it was then gloomy and wild enough 
to add much to my perturbed state of mind. But he 
was not in sight as I looked wistfully through my tears, 
and in my despair I concluded father would not come that 
day and started back, taking a hearty cry as I passed 
back along that narrow road, lined on each side with 
paw -paw thickets, where I had the whole forest to cry 
in by myself. I jogged on home alone (with many a long 
look behind me), and arrived at dark. I had hardly 
got fairly housed and eaten my supper, when father 
came, having walked the whole way. Had I been told 
properly to wait at the tavern till he came, and that it 
would be late, I should have managed well enough. 
The Monday following I went with him about the same 
distance and returned alone very well. 

When he returned the next time I went the whole 
way to Steubenville to meet him, and found him ready 
to start back with me. When just above Mingo Bottom, 
about two and a half miles below Steubenville, I came in 
sight of the town, which was prettily built and showed 
well from that point. It is quite fresh in my memory that 
it was really beautiful, and as I thought, the most splendid 
view of my experience. But I met a little difficulty as 
I entered the town. The road divided at the bank of 
the little mill stream below, one fork of it turning to the 
river bank, and the other, which I followed, starting for- 
ward through a lane into Third street, and up a hill that 
hid the town from me. Here I was attacked with 
doubts, and I supposed I was on the wrong road. But 
reasoning that if I kept near the river I must come to 
where I had seen the town, I turned into an open gate 



36 Recollections of 

and followed the carriage road then leading into the 
very handsome grounds of Bezeleel Wells. The place is 
still kept up, and may be seen from the river or railway, 
surrounded by a fine maple grove, I soon came to the 
end of the avenue and in sight of the town ; but I saw 
no way to it, except to cross that ravine upon a slight 
foot bridge that was thrown across on very light tim- 
bers, and floored with inch boards. Upon this frail 
structure I turned the old horse (which by the way, was 
blind and could not see his danger) and went over in 
safety. Whether any body saw me or not I do not 
know, as I never heard it spoken of, and when I came 
to understand it, I said very little about it myself. I 
suppose the feat of crossing that bridge on horseback 
was never performed by any one else. I pursued the 
pathway to a gate where I had to dismount to open it, 
and so found my way into the west end of Second or High 
street. Here I met a man who gave me directions, tell- 
ing me that I should know the woolen factory by its 
having a steeple with the figure of a merino ram on the 
spire. I was all right then, and after putting the horse 
to feed at a tavern, I walked bravely up to the factory, 
and to my great joy found father. We got home nicely, 
and I brought him out the next week. 

The last time that I went for him, it was arranged 
that I should stay at his boarding place, where I was 
acquainted with the family, till our family should move 
back with him. I accordingly went to Steubenville on 
Thursday, and father returned, expecting to bring the 
family and all the household belongings there by Mon- 
day evening. I was at liberty now with two or three 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 87 

whole days before me, to look at the town, which was 
a very busy place for that day., and I made the most of 
them. On Friday morning I started and went to every 
manufactory there was in the place, except the woolen, 
the first being the paper mill now in operation on the 
same site then the iron foundry, the cotton factory, the 
steam mill, the brewery, the watch maker's (mender's), 
the printing office, and I do n't know what besides ; for 
as they were all new to me, I went to see them all. 
At the printing office I looked with admiration on the 
undistributed forms of the Western Herald and Steuben- 
ville Gazette then a great Democratic organ, and con- 
ducted by James Wilson, who continued it from 1808 
till 1844. It was a medium sheet that is, 19 x 24, 
The editor seemed to be interested in me, and asked me 
my politics, eta; I told him with a feeling of independ- 
ence that I was a Federalist, and he laughed, perhaps 
at the manner in which I said it. He showed me some- 
thing about the printing and made explanations in which 
I was interested. One small room sufficed for the office. 
On Sunday I walked into the country with the boys 
who had been at work the two days before; and on 
Monday I made another round of sight seeing, till 
the afternoon, when I began to look for the family, 
as I was very homesick to see mother. About the 
middle of Tuesday forenoon they came ; and my trouble 
was at an end. This was some time in August, 1816. 



38 Recollections of 



CHAPTEE VI. 

A Quakerless Community Youthful Persecutions Abundance of 
Nuts and Wild Fruits At School School Books UsedPaper 
Ink Whipping in School Methodist Meeting An Epidemic 
of Typhoid A Religious Enthusiast Hunting Ginseng Bon- 
fires and Buckeyes. 

Though a small boy, and disposed to be adaptable, 
it took me some time to get settled in this new place. 
From a community nearly all Quakers I had come where 
there was not one ; and there was such a change of 
manners, with young and old, that I was some time 
becoming reconciled to the situation. And then, I was 
a stranger to all the boys ; and as I was very Quakerish, 
and wore a little " shad-bellied coat," I was esteemed 
fair game for those disposed to play the bully, while I 
was a curiosity to others. I had to run the gauntlet of 
constant challenges to fight, which I had to accept or 
run, followed by jeers and cries of coward! I did not 
want pluck, but I had a principle against fighting, and 
was under a constant injunction from father not to strike, 
whatever the provocation. I compromised this matter 
towards the last by kicking the shins of a few of the 
more troublesome ones; and this brought me peace. 

As I became acquainted I got to like the place and 
what seemed to me its advantages. For the winter 
comfort of the children, father got a cartman to go 
with me one Saturday afternoon along the bank of the 
river, near Mingo Bottom, where in a short time we 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 39 

filled the cart with butternuts so abundant were they 
and so little were they cared for. By going into the 
country in almost any direction we could get wild 
fruits especially grapes and nuts in great abundance. 
But these have long since disappeared. 

As soon as the winter set in I started to school. 
The teacher, then called master (for we had no " prin- 
cipals" to schools then), was John Finley, a brother of 
Father James B. Finley, well known among the Meth- 
odists as a preacher of great zeal and piety, for which 
he was more distinguished than for learning. John 
Finley was also a Methodist preacher, and as such su- 
perior to his brother; but he had left the itinerant 
service of his church to devote himself to teaching, 
which he seemed to prefer. He was regarded as an 
excellent teacher, and his school was large including the 
sons of the leading men of the place. Among them were 
the sons of Bezaleel Wells, Martin Andrews, Judge 
Benjamin Tappan, and John C. Wright, who led society 
there. These, and a large number of poorer boys got 
along democratically together. I was among the smaller 
set of boys ; but I usually associated with the older ones, 
as was my practice all through my youth. Though 
fond of the sports and habits of boys, I had the faculty 
of talking with men in such a way as to be recognized 
and conversed with ; which I made available as a source 
of information. At school I could learn all I wanted ; 
for my memory was very good ; but my point of failure 
was in application. In the short days of winter I had 
some chores to do after breakfast, such as getting in coal 
and carrying water, which was scarce there, and doing 



40 Recollections of 

errands; and this almost invariably made me late at 
school, where above all places I loved to be. The 
penalty for this tardiness was to be put at the foot of 
my class in reading. But I soon got up again, and was 
certain to be at the head half the time. If I got down 
on Saturday I was sure to be placed head on Monday 
for the recitation, of poetry that I committed on Sunday. 
In this way I committed to memory nearly all the poetry 
in Murray's English Eeader, and many other pieces. For 
one of these tasks I learned and recited Gray's Elegy 
entire. 

Our studies at this school were spelling, reading, 
arithmetic and writing. We used the United States 
Spelling Book, a Pittsburgh book, the Western Cal- 
culator, also a Pittsburgh work, Murray's series of 
reading lessons, the English Reader, and the "In- 
troduction" and "Sequel" to the same. Grammar 
and geography were not taught in the common schools 
then, nor for many years after. The paper used in 
writing was a pretty good article of foolscap, made 
in the country, but unruled. So we had to rule it for 
ourselves; and each boy was armed with a wooden 
rule, furnished by some friendly carpenter, to which was 
tied a pencil made of crude lead. With these we ruled 
our paper to all desirable widths, by which we were 
guided in learning to write; for it was expected that 
any one who had learned to write would not need such 
a guide. Our pens were all made of quills ; and making 
a good pen was part of the art of writing, and an indis- 
pensable one at that. Our ink was usually made from 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 41 

ink powders, or from oak and maple bark with copperas 
added to the boiled decoction of these. 

One of the most efficient agencies in education in 
that day was thrashing ; and every master scrupulously 
availed himself of it. Mr. Finley understood it, and it 
was reasonably well dispensed in his school. My neg- 
ligence, or talking frequently brought me under this 
discipline ; but I know that there never was any necessity 
for it. It was the custom, and it saved words. To me 
it was so mortifying that I took my books home the 
first time, resolved that I would not endure it. But 
I was sent back ; and I well remember how my appear- 
ance in the afternoon was received by the other boys as 
a thing of course, of which they had had experience. 
My nice sense of honor and self-respect was broken down 
then, and I, like the others, learned to care but little 
about it the main point afterward being to stand it 
without crying. The second quarter I made up my 
mind that I would so behave as to escape, which I did 
till near the end, when I caught it almost without cause. 
The house where this school was kept was a one story 
frame about eighteen or twenty feet square a mere box 
with doors and windows. It stood where the gas reser- 
voir of the city now stands. "When I was in Steubenville 
in 1851, F. A. "Wells, then postmaster there, one of my old 
schoolmates, and I made a very reverent pilgrimage to 
the place where the house stood 

" The school boy spot 
"We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot. 

I only went these two quarters ; and with, them closed 
my period of attendance at school about the time 



42 Recollections of 

I was ten years old ? and now (1872) fifty-five years ago. 
I afterward attended an evening school to learn gram- 
mar, and at times got private instruction in arithmetic, 
in exchange for which I gave instructions in grammar. 
" Chill penury repressed/' etc. At this grammar school 
my seat-mate was Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's secretary 
of war. I do not remember meeting with him since; 
but I remember him a boy delicate physically, grave 
and studious. 

As there were no Quakers at Steubenville, father 
joined the Methodist church and attended it with his 
family. He has since told me that during his outside 
relation to the Quakers he had become very skeptical and 
he was quite unsettled upon religious subjects. I re- 
member the elder David Powell, one of the pioneer 
Swedenborgians of Ohio, labored very hard with him, 
and father read some of Swedenborg's works. But the 
Methodist system in its then fiery enthusiasm seemed to 
suit him best. The fact that Ms mother was a Methodist 
may have had something to do with it; and then I 
suppose the effect of a large congregation of Methodists, 
in the absence of any regular IsTew Church Society, had 
much to do with it. So we went to Methodist meetings, 
wMch were the very antithesis of the silent Quaker 
worship, I shall never forget the terror with which the 
"exercises" inspired me. At the first prayer I knelt 
down with others ; while the tone of supplication of the 
man who prayed waxed louder and louder. I knew that 
amen was said at the end of a prayer; and. as I was 
shaking till my knees rattled on the floor with fear, I 
thought those around me were likewise affected, and were 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 43 

crying amen as an inducement for the brother to stop ; 
when in fact they were only encouraging him, I re- 
garded it as an awful time, and was very thankful when 
he said amen. It was not long till I got used to it and 
learned to regard it as what was just right. 

Typhoid fever of a very malignant form was epi- 
demic in that region during the winter of 1816-17, and 
great numbers died ; people in the country were alarmed 
to such an extent that they would not come to market 
or on business, and the place was almost desolate. 

Father spent much of his time of evenings visiting 
these sick persons, and often watching all night with 
them. He would talk over the cases at home, and he 
always discussed with mother the spiritual state of each 
with great earnestness. He became enthusiastically re- 
ligious at this time, and appeared to live in a Methodis- 
tic atmosphere night and day. At least, he thought and 
talked of nothing else. It must have absorbed all his 
mental powers, and I think it unfitted him for the busi- 
ness of life. He was a constant attendant at all the 
prayer, class, and band meetings he could reach that is 
to say, he attended one or other of these meetings nearly 
every night in the week, besides a continual round of 
them on Sunday. 

Mother was of a different turn, and never took hold 
of this religious work in harmony with him. She was 
more practical and more prudent or, as it seemed to him, 
more worldly. She joined the church with him but 
never partook of his enthusiasm. He became a shouter, 
and was affected by all that extravagant enthusiasm that 
would at times prostrate the physical powers. I have 



44 Recollections of 

seen Mm, a few years later than this time, lie for hours 
without motion, and so long as to alarm me, although I 
knew it a common experience, always recovered from, and 
regarded as altogether " regular." As his life was or- 
derly, and he was gifted in prayer, and soon learned to 
sing the hymns with great spirit, and select them with 
taste, speaking well in class meetings and love feasts, he 
became a leading spirit, and was looked to as a valuable 
member, and consequently urged and invited into greater 
extravagances of " devotion to the cause." This neces- 
sarily threw an undue portion of the care of the family 
upon mother, who really had a hard time with her house- 
work and the instruction she had to give the children. 
Engaged as father was in the church, it was utterly out 
of the question for him to improve our secular condition. 
He had no mind for it and no time to think of it, beyond 
the hours of labor. In the summer of 1817, he gave up 
his berth as superintendent of the carding-room in the 
factory, and took the position of sorter of wool, that is, 
assorting it into the different grades of quality, for which 
he was paid by the pound ; and asl could help him in open- 
ing the fleeces and carrying away the heaps of assorted 
wool, I was taken to work with him, at which I continued 
off and on about two years ; though I was not confined so 
steadily at this as to prevent me from having consider- 
able leisure, when I was put to help mother part of the 
time, to make garden, take care of the cow, and go of 
errands. 

We had to get flour from the mill nearly a mile out 
of town, and I was usually sent for it, that is to buy it 
and watch for an opportunity to have it brought up. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 45 

These trips, in consideration of the fact that there were 
two orchards to go by, and fishing to he done in the 
creek at the mill, and swimming to be done in the river, 
usually took a good while and often spoiled a day's 
work. There was a belief at that time among the coun- 
try doctors that the ginseng root was the " sovereign- 
est thing on earth/' for the lungs ; and as father com- 
plained at that time of a cough, I undertook to hunt 
ginseng in the woods, where it then grew pretty plenti- 
fully. But as I did not know it by the leaf, two . boys 
who did n't know it either undertook to show it to me. 
"We spent two or three days in most delightful rambling 
over the hillsides ; but I discovered the boys were hum- 
bugs, and as I wanted to find something as well as hunt 
for it, I got another guide, of whom I learned to find the 
plant very well, and enjoyed the woods vastly ; for I sup- 
pose to the " natural man," in boyhood, the forest is of all 
places the most delighful. The season of ginseng was 
succeeded by nuts, and as I was usually allowed to go 
uutting I had a pretty good season of it. 

One of our great sports in the street, at that time, 
was bon-fires made of shavings from the new houses 
building. To add to the excitement some boys were en- 
gaged to gather a great quantity, that is to say, sundry 
hatfuls of buckeyes wild horse chestnuts that grew in 
great abundance along the river. These were saved up 
till Saturday, when the carpenters would throw out the 
rubbish for the bon-fire. When the fire was nearly 
burned down, and the flame began to lose its splendor, 
the buckeyes were thrown into it by the boys who sur- 
rounded the fire, when, as they became hot there was a 



46 Recollections of 

gas generated in them that exploded them with a report 
like a pistol ; and thus a fusilade would be kept up as 
long as the supply lasted ; after which sticks and stones 
would be thrown into the coals to brighten them up. It 
was wonderful what a crowd of boys would gather, and 
how little mischief would be done. 



Life in Ohio, 1818-1840. 47 



CHAPTER VH. 

Buying a Farm A Log Cabin Lighting and Ventilation The Cabin 
Chimney A Neighbor's Family. 

It had always been a doctrine in the family that we 
ought to move onto a farm, and father had looked for- 
ward to the time when he could buy a farm, and devote 
himself to the cultivation of it. "Why he thought of 
this I can not guess, unless there is a natural feeling in 
the civilized man that always regards a farm as an es- 
tablished home, and seeks to fix itself to the soil some 
where. Father was always talking to us about it, though 
I know if he had had a farm given to him, ready stocked, 
he would scarcely have been able to live on it. Tet he 
would seriously talk of leasing a quarter of a section of 
school-land in a state of nature, and clearing it up. In 
pursuance of this idea, he bought on credit making a 
first payment of all he could rake and scrape together 
forty acres of land for six hundred dollars. It was situ- 
ated on the point of a hill, above a little stream called 
"Wills creek, about five miles from Steubenville. Twenty- 
five acres was the extent of the available land in the lot, 
the rest being stony hillside on which nothing but trees 
would grow ; and being one of the first places settled in 
the country, the land was worn out and hopelessly poor. 
The man who had cleared it had planted an apple 
orchard and peach orchard of five or six acres, so that 
when there was a fruit season there was plenty of apples 



48 Recollections of 

and peaches. He had improved it with a log barn and 
two log-cabin houses, but he had cut every stick of tim- 
ber off the land that could be worked into staves and 
shingles or rails. The two former he sold in town, and 
the latter he omitted to make after his first fences ; so 
that his successors had little else than the ground to work 
with, Father bought it of a man who lived in town,, 
and had taken it on a poor debt ; and the man then on 
the place was about to leave because he could not pay 
for it, nor even pay the rent after he became a tenant on 
it. Some time in September, as I remember, father and 
I went one afternoon to see the place, which made for 
me a most delightful trip. The tenant was living upon 
it. On that day he was away from home, and we only 
saw his family. His wife entertained us with a descrip- 
tion of the place, and treated us kindly, but she evidently 
felt the humiliation of their situation at being obliged 
to leave it, though it was not worth their while to stay. 
They were to leave in the spring, and as we wanted 
to move out that winter, it was agreed that they should 
take one of the houses and we the other. Father got some 
repairs done on the one we were to occupy, so as to 
make it a little more habitable, by the addition of glass 
windows ; for it had previously been lighted by leaving 
the door open in addition to a four-light window 
with greased paper for glass, and the opening of the 
great chimney at the end of the single room, down which 
the daylight flowed in goodly quantity. It may seem a 
strange way of living now, but it was very common for 
the log-cabins to have no windows whatever. In ex- 
tremely cold weather the door would be closed, and 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 49 

likewise at night, but mostly by keeping a good fire the 
door could be left open for light and ventilation; and the 
chimneys were so wide and so low, very often not as 
high as the one-story house, that they afforded as much 
light as a small window. These chimneys were always 
outside the house at one end, and it was very common 
for them never to be finished or built up beyond the 
fire-place. The manner of building them was to cut 
through the logs at the gable end, a space of six or eight 
feet wide and five or six feet high ; and logs were built 
to this opening like a bay window ; this recess was then 
lined with a rough stone wall up as high as this opening ; 
from that point a smoke stack was built of small sticks 
split out of straight wood and laid cob-house fashion to 
the height desired, and then plastered inside and out with 
clay, held together by straw. A very common event 
was for these chimneys to take fire, in which case it was 
necessary to use water bountifully or pull them down. 
Ours had so settled away from the house that we steadily 
expected it to pull itself down. But like the tower of 
Pisa it stood against all the gravity that affected it, I 
suppose, till the house went also. The repairs delayed 
our moving till after ISTew Year's, 1819. 

From the time of the purchase till we moved, I 
made frequent trips to the farm, always on foot , but I 
was never tired of going. I stayed some times over 
night, and was greatly taken up with the people I would 
meet there. I could talk about town to the boys, and 
their and their mother's stories of the country were 
charming to me, while the nearly grown-up girls, one of 
whom was very pretty, could talk most entertainingly. 



50 Recollections of 

The second daughter had a fund of stories that belong 
to the north of Ireland that land where the Irish and 
the Scotch characters are so wonderfully blended about 
witches, wizzards, ghosts, and fairies, that she never 
wearied of telling nor I of hearing, and when we moved 
out to the place I was sure to be at our neighbor's every 
evening if mother would let me, hearing these tales, till 
I would be afraid to go from one door to the other. 

Father still remained in town working in the fac- 
tory, coming home on Saturday afternoons. My duties 
consisted of feeding the cow and getting wood for the 
fire, which in very cold weather was about all I could 
do, as I was not quite twelve years old nor over the 
average size. I had this wood to carry, or drag on a 
small sled, from the woods and up hill at that, though I 
availed myself of all the broken rails along the fences 
"for what supply they would yield. Hard work as this 
was, I was greatly delighted with the country. 

Just before we moved out, my Uncle Powell (a 
brother-in-law to father) and his family, who had 
stopped on their way from England near Richmond, 
Virginia, long enough, to spend all the money they had, 
came to Steubenville ; and as he had engaged a farm 
that he could not enter upon till spring, he took the 
house we lived in. He, however, had a team of horses 
and an old stage coach, in which the family had traveled 
from Virginia, that still bore the lettering, "Richmond 
and Staunton Mail Stage," which was rather a stunning 
thing in itself, while it served them some of the purposes 
of a wagon. "When we moved, we used this to trans- 
port the family and most of the goods, by making re- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 51 

peated trips. On the last trip out, as it was late at night, 
the man who drove the wagon stayed till morning. 
After unhitching, he left the coach standing in the lane, 
where it terminated on the brow of a very steep Mil. 
It had not stood there long till an enterprising old sow, 
making a survey of the machine, got her nose under a 
wheel, when it started down the hill. We heard the 
rumbling, and just got out in time enough to see it go- 
ing over a grade of thirty -five degrees, and landing in a 
thicket of bushes. The next day, after great labor, the 
running gears were got up, but the body -was a wreck, 
and was left there, in which situation we children made 
many imaginary trips in it between Eichmond and 
Staunton. The precaution of putting a chock under 
the wheels of this coach would have saved it, of course. 

This was in midwinter, and very disagreeable 
weather, under which the new place could have had but 
little charm for my poor mother. Her heart must have 
sunk as she encountered the labor of reducing to order 
the dirt and confusion that reigned in the place, and 
novelty lent it no charm for her, however we children 
may have enjoyed it. 

As showing the character of the country at that day : 
our neighbor was in debt, and largely for drink. He tad 
but little, and was sued for something that he could not 
pay, while he did not want his house stripped ; and as at 
that time it was the practice to imprison for debt, when 
the execution came, he refused to give up his property, 
and went to jail. In a quiet way, soon after, one of the 
neighbors, who was comfortably off, took away most of 
his goods that were subject to execution and kept them 



52 Recollections of 

out of sight. As father and I were coming out of town 
the Saturday after that, a tavern-keeper by the name of 
Haughey, who kept a public-house on the way, stopped 
father to inquire about our neighbor, and remarked that 
he had a claim against him for drink, which he meant to 
try and collect. Father hinted that the man had no money. 
" No," he said, " but they have some feather beds that 
will sell ;" and the children, he thought, could as well 
sleep on straw. This I told the wife as soon as I got 
home, and the next day I found a feather bed hid in the 
bushes. The whisky bill was not collected. Our neigh- 
bor remained in jail till the creditor, who had to board 
him, got tired of his share of it. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 53 



CHAPTEE VHL 

Moving the Cow and the Pig Sugar Camps Game The Old Mill 
Peach Brandy Peach Leather Woodmanship Old-fashioned 
AxesA New Pony Going to Mill Ghosts and Panthers. 

Our moving was done pretty leisurely, and occupied 
several days ; and it seems to me now that I did a pretty 
good share of the labor, considering my age. Father, 
though skillful enough in his business, -or with his ma- 
chinery, was much wanting in the contrivance which is 
one-half of work, and nearly all planning was left for 
mother and me. In the way of live stock we had a 
cow and a pig. These were removed on two different 
days, and the performance was about all I was equal to. 
The cow I undertook first ; but she would not be driven 
more than a short distance out of town till she would 
turn on me and run back. After one or two trials, I 
put a rope on her horns, and led and drove her as the 
case required. Even then she would try to run back, 
and it put me to my utmost effort to get her over the 
five miles I had to take her. Several times she started 
to run, when she and the rope and I might have been 
seen flying over the ground at a fearful rate. I could 
run nearly as fast as she could, at any rate, and with her 
help, when holding on to the rope, I could keep upon 
my feet for a pretty good race, at the end of which I 
would bring her up or turn her on the route, and keep 
her going till she would catch me unawares and run 



54 Recollections of 

into a lane or a piece of woods. "With fences on both 
sides, I got along finely; but if a fence was wanting, as 
was common then, it was hard work. I had one long 
hill to go down, where the road was through the natural 
forest ; and here Bossy, or Sukey, and I had it " nip and 
tuck*" She would start for a run, and I would make 
for a tree, against which I would draw the rope, and, if 
possible, make a turn and thus snub her. If I could 
throw myself past the upper side of the tree and swing 
round below it, I had her completely in my power. 
After she would quiet down, I would loosen my hold, 
and start on. Along the creek bank, I got on pretty 
well, except that the creek had to be forded five times, 
and I had no alternative but to wade through it, and 
thoroughly wet my feet. As the cow was tired as well 
as I, she went up the hill to our house, with commenda- 
ble moderation after we had nearly doubled the dis- 
tance in the many races we had. 

The pig, which was pretty well out of pig-hood, 
and attained that indefinable stage of swine life known 
as "shoat," was transported on another day, by the 
same process, as far as it would apply. But the pig, 
having no horns, I tied him on the Irish plan of a noose 
drawn upon his hind leg just above the knuckle. By 
this I could hold him and guide him after a fashion ; 
though having a will of his own, he would run through 
all the holes and corners, and under the sloping stakes 
of the Virginia fences. In this case the fences were my 
dread, for it seemed as if he ran under every stake he 
came to, compelling me to let go the rope, and pass it 
under the stake into my other hand, which had to be 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 55 

done carefully, lest he should escape. Take it all in all, 
this mode of driving a pig, which is the orthodox mode 
in Ireland, is not the most delightful labor by the side 
of an American stake-and-rider fence ; and for a small 
boy it is provocative of ill-tempered expressions and 
many tears of anger. 

The country where we lived is very hilly and rough, 
and the land generally poor. The prevailing timber was 
oak of various kinds, with occasional strips of maple 
forest, on the creek bottoms and on some of the hilltops, 
where the land was rich and fertile. The prevailing 
rock is sandstone, which pretty well covers the hillsides 
with its fragments, while the heavier rocks outcrop 
along the ravines and precipices. Coal is abundant, and 
near it is limestone and marl, where the land is rich and 
where the maples grew. Our place had no sugar-trees ; 
and thus one great source of happiness was cut off, 
though I found frequent occasion for visiting the camps 
of the neighbors. To a boy from a town, hardly any 
place could be more enchanting than a sugar-camp, 
where the big boys stay all day and boil the sugar water, 
having their meals brought to them, and sleep at night 
in an open-faced camp, before a big fire, on a heap of 
straw. I looked upon boys whose fathers owned sugar- 
tree land as thrice blessed, and longed for the change 
that should give us a camp. But our rough place had 
the advantage of being surrounded with hemlock and 
pine trees and laurel thickets, where there were pheas- 
ants ruffed grouse and rabbits, that I would hunt 
most enthusiastically, trying to kill the pheasants with 
stones, for they would sit on the trees about as long as I 



56 Recollections of 

was disposed to throw stones at them, if I only kept up 
a noise by singing or whistling. Rabbits I did manage 
to catch after a while ; but the first one I caught with 
my hands as it was running, which was a rare feat and 
not likely to be repeated in a lifetime. A dog was after 
it, and, as it was doubling on him, it ran past me ? when 
I sprang at it, and in a few jumps caught it. This was 
an event of vast importance. 

At the foot of our hill was a saw-mill and flouring- 
mill, where we got flour and cow feed, and where I 
made acquaintances, and heard many a long story, of 
hunting in early times, and of voyages down the river. 
But the charm of the region was the old mill, a short 
distance above the others. The house, mill, and old 
still-house were all empty, and of course subject to end- 
less investigation in day time ; while they were a terror 
at night, by reason of the ghosts that were said to harbor 
in them. Two fields adjoining the mills were also aban- 
doned, in which the cows, not fenced up, would run, 
and from which, we would sometimes drive them after 
night-fall, at the imminent risk of being attacked by 
ghosts. My sister Anne, as next in age to me, was fre- 
quently my companion in my adventures over these odd 
places and the hills and valleys through which the cattle 
would stray ; and it is wonderful what strolls we would 
have, and how we clambered over rocks and through 
thickets. In one of these fields there was a large patch 
of thyme growing, that had spread from an old garden. 
In summer, being long in bloom, it was very pretty, 
and with its flowers and fine odor, it remains a picture 
to nie yet. I often go back to Castner's old mill, on a 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 57 

little bunch of thyme, and never see any without going 
there. 

At the old still-house there was a great heap of 
peach-stones, amounting to many bushels the refuse 
from the manufacture of peach brandy, an article which 
in that day was abundant and cheap. When the country 
was new, peaches were the easiest fruit to raise. They 
came forward very quickly, bearing in three or four 
years from the planting of the stone; and they produced 
so abundantly when the frost did not kill them, that 
they were freely given away to those who would eat or 
dry them, and sold at ten or twelve cents a bushel to the 
distillers, who worked them up into brandy, thus assist- 
ing to keep up the supply of spirits, then regarded as a 
necessary of life almost as much as bread. The first 
year we went to the farm the frost destroyed the entire 
crop of fruit, especially peaches ; but the second year, 
1820, we had an unlimited supply. To dispose of some 
of them, we got a neighbor to take a four-horse wagon 
load of them to the Steubenville market. These I man- 
aged to nearly sell out, some for twenty-five and more 
for eighteen cents a bushel, the transaction yielding a 
mere trifle over expenses. "We dried them, however, and 
worked them up into "peach leather" a very nice 
preparation of the pulp of the peach spread on a board 
and dried in the sun and ate them from morning till 
night. The finest varieties of budded peaches now 
known do not exceed in quality the common natural 
growth from the seed of that time, without any particu- 
lar culture. There then grew in the woods an abundance 
of wild grapes, that were mostly of good quality, and 



58 Recollections of 

some very superior in size and flavor. I believe some 
excellent varieties might have been brought forward from 
them, but that opportunity has gone by. 

During the remainder of the winter of 1819, after 
we moved, there were some weeks of rather hard 
weather; and though when the weather was mild I 
could manage pretty well, with what help my brother 
Thomas and sister Anne could give me, to keep up the 
fires, it came rather hard upon us when there was a deep 
snow to contend with, and the dry, light limbs and bark 
were covered and wet, and the old rails in the same condi- 
tion. So I undertook to keep up the supply by cutting 
down trees. Of those that were near the house, almost all 
were too large or too tough for me to manage. Among 
them I found one that was hollow, and that I set about 
cutting down, thinking it would be easily handled. But 
it was tougher than if solid, and a fearful spell of 
"beavering" I had with it before it was down, so that I 
could get at the tops. To add to my difficulty, the ax 
was a poor one, very heavy and very dull. Such an ax 
as we could now buy for a dollar, ready ground and 
light, was unknown then ; they seldom weighed less 
than five pounds and were ill-shaped besides. For a 
boy of less than twelve years, this was really too much ; 
for it was as much as I could well do to swing the ax in 
a horizontal direction ; still less could I add force to the 
blows and sink the ax beyond what the impetus of its 
own weight would do. I can yet remember how hard it 
was and with what labor I cut that hollow tree down. 
The first day it was only partly down, when I adjourned 
to grind the old ax at the mill. My brother, a hopeful 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 59 

and willing little chap, went with, me to turn the grind- 
stone. If I held on the ax so as to grind it he could n't 
turn, and if I turned he could n't hold the ax ; but I 
held it on pretty steep, and, as I thought, put a good 
edge on it ; it was really so blunt that it would n't cut 
any thing; though in order to make it perfect I had 
whetted it up with father's razor strop. But somebody 
assisted me, and I got it so that I could cut a little ; and 
we got the tree-top niggled into such pieces as we could 
drag home up the hill-side. For some reason that I do 
not remember, I took the ax to town and got a black- 
smith to upset or dress and temper it. After this was 
done, it was so thick on the edge that it took two days 
to grind it to what we thought sharp. Thus we worked 
along through the winter, and with an occasional con- 
fiscation of a rail, we made out to keep up our fires. 

"With the opening of the spring of 1819, I entered 
upon a most delightful round of novelties. We had the 
ground of one ortwo fields plowed, and we planted them in 
corn and other spring crops including garden making, 
which father took to himself as his specialty working 
at it on Saturdays, when home from town. Father 
bought a black pony, bearing the name of Paddy, that 
was about as tough and lazy a lump of horse flesh as 
I ever saw. He was one of the ponies that the boatmen 
who made trips down the river in flat boats to ISTew 
Orleans, and returned over land, were in the habit of 
buying of the Choctaw Indians, to ride home on. This 
one had been ridden home by a man who was prepared 
to sell him cheap ; and I think father bought him for 
twenty-eight dollars. But he served me as a horse, and 



60 Recollections of 

for hacking about and going to mill he did very well, 
as he would carry three bushels of wheat and me on 
the top of it, or as many of the children as we could 
pile on. And, as it turned out to be a very dry season, 
it fell to my lot to go to distant mills to get grinding 
done ; and Paddy and I made many a mile of moderate 
travel in Jefferson county. At the mills we had to wait 
our turns ; and often we would have to leave our grist, 
and go after it another day, by appointment sometimes 
more than once. The weather was fine, the roads were 
good, there were plenty of apples in the orchards and 
nuts in the woods by the way, where they were always 
free to the passer-by; and, all in all, I really enjoyed 
going to mill, till the cold weather came on in the fall. 
Then Paddy took his time, and neither coaxing nor driv- 
ing would move him beyond a slow walk ; and the fact 
that I was almost freezing never gave him any concern, 
My only resource, therefore, was to get off and walk by 
his side. I was often benighted in getting home, when 
I had to run the guantlet of various terrors a grave- 
yard or two, the many stories of ghosts and goblins 
fresh in my memory, besides a story, vouched for by 
several big boys, that a panther had been heard screech- 
ing in the woods and laurel thickets. If I had a load, 
I proceeded in titter silence, of which Paddy took ad- 
vantage by choosing his own gait ; if light, I would 
make all the speed I could. One night my brother Tom 
and I had been to town together, riding double on 
Paddy. "When we reached the top of Sugar Hill, we 
had to get off and walk down, as it was too steep for 
both to ride down in the dark, and we were in danger 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 61 

of slipping over the horse's head. It was a frosty 
autumn night, and the saddle had got very cold while 
we were off, so that neither of us wanted to sit on it, 
preferring the horse's warm back. "We drew Paddy up 
by a big log that we could just find in the starlight, and 
instead of getting upon him while standing on the 
log we opened an argument as to which should ride 
behind. The panther story was usually present with 
us, but we had forgotten it just then, and we grew pretty 
loud in our dispute, when, as Burns says, something 
"G-at up and gie a croon," or, more properly, a 
yell not very far from us. It was an owl, as I now 
suppose, but then it was a panther. The argument 
dropped in a second ; Tom vaulted into the saddle, as 
the place of safety, and I took the warm seat behind 
with all the dangers of an additional passenger unin- 
vited. " Short and few were the prayers we said," and 
Paddy was put to his best paces up the creek, which we 
had to cross five times ; but at the first crossing he per- 
sisted in drinking, regardless of all the terrors of our 
situation. 



62 Recollections of 



CHAPTER IX. 

Amateur Farming Wheat Harvest Threshing with the Flail Win- 
nowing Snakes Killing a Copperhead Pigs Killing Snakes- 
Pigs in the Woods Their Voracity and Ferocity Pigs naturally 
Decent Birds Gunning Pheasants Their Habits and Tricks 
A Family Dog A Brown Smell. 

The fall before we moved out father got a man to 
put in five acres of wheat, which did tolerably well and 
afforded us a supply for bread immediately after harvest. 
This wheat we had to harvest in July, and to us it was a 
new thing to have the gathering of the ripe grain as our 
task. But then we did it like the rest of our farming 
hired the most of it. Father thought it best to get this 
wheat all cut in one day ; so he got force enough to do it 
had not a thunder storm come up, which broke in upon 
the time so that there was work for two men the second 
day. But we had all the work of a harvest day, as if it 
had been a manorial estate. We had one man to cradle, 
another to rake and bind, and two to reap with sickles. 
We had a big dinner and lunches in the forenoon and 
afternoon, and the longest imaginable stories told at in- 
tervals of rest and during the thunder-storm. But we 
got the wheat duly housed, after which came the thresh- 
ing and cleaning. The usual way of threshing then was 
with a flail, and the tenth bushel was the common price 
for that work. We got most of ours threshed, and I 
pounded out some of it myself, as well as giving my head 
sundry polts. Our manner of cleaning the wheat from 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840, 63 

the chaff was very primitive. It consisted of passing 
the wheat and chaff through a coarse sieve or riddle 
upon the barn floor, while two persons took a sheet be- 
tween them, and by a particular flapping of the sheet 
produced a breeze that blew the chaff away. It was 
very laborious, but was the only method in use, except 
by the larger farmers, who trod out the grain with horses 
and cleansed it with a fanning mill. 

Among the. features of the country and place where 
we lived snakes were prominent. The stony soil seemed to 
favor them, as it was warm and dry and afforded shelter. 
Rattlesnakes had pretty well disappeared, but black- 
snakes, a kind of small anaconda, were plenty, and in 
the streams were water snakes beyond count a terror 
to boys, who would not bathe in them unless it was very 
warm, when snakes were risked, as they would have 
been if they had been alligators. But the copperheads 
were the really dangerous serpents of that time and lo- 
cality. They were numerous too, and great care was 
necessary to avoid them. They harbored under logs and 
stones, in stumps and among weeds rarely in the grass 
but always around barns or stables. I killed several of 
them close by our house, and one in the garden, where he 
had made himself comfortable under the dry pea-holm. 
Mother happened to see him when she was gathering 
peas and called me. I came with a hoe, and after raking 
the stuff off him, where he lay coiled and quiet, I let 
drive, cutting him into several pieces, and spattering my 
hands and face with his blood and juices, which I sup- 
posed to be poisonous, and washed off in mortal fear of 
soon following the snake. One morning my brother 



64 Recollections of 

Joe, who was a little fellow, stood by mother as she 
was milking near the barn and told her there was 
something pretty there. She looked around and was 
horrified to see him gently touching a sleeping copper- 
head with his toe. This fellow was waked up with a 
club. They were most dangerous in the harvest fields, 
where they would get under the shocks of grain, among 
the stubble, and even into the sheaves. It was customary 
then to cut oats with a cradle and leave them lying in 
the swarth a few days to make them thresh easy. Under 
these swarths the copperheads were sure to gather, where 
they would frequently bite men who were taking up the 
oats. Hogs were the natural enemies of all kinds of 
snakes, and they devoured them with a relish. They 
never seemed to- hesitate as to what kind of snakes they 
were, either, and would take a copperhead " on the half- 
shell," and squirming, with the most perfect nonchalance, 
and never appeared to suffer any inconvenience from their 
poison. "Whether they handled them too adroitly to be 
bitten, or the bite failed to hurt them, I do n't know. 
"When a pig got a snake it was not long till he would 
get one end of the serpent in his mouth and the other 
end under his forefoot. We had one old sow that had a 
tooth for all sorts of eatables, dead or alive, whether it 
was a nest of eggs, a brood of young chickens, a family 
of goslings or a lamb. Snakes appeared to be a special 
weakness with her, and I supplied her with many a one. 
The pigs of that day were a kind of wild beast. 
The breed was very different from any thing we have 
now, they were active, enterprising, and self-reliant ; and 
all they asked was a free range of the woods, though 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 65 

they could, at all times, be tamed by food. Indeed, their 
stomachs got them into most of the tight places they 
ever got into, even to the slaughter pen in the fall. It 
was quite common in favorable seasons, for them to be- 
come fat enough for meat in the woods on acorns and 
nuts, without any corn, though it was deemed advisable 
to pen them up and feed them corn for a few weeks be- 
fore killing. The growing stock always boarded them- 
selves, except in winter, when they would get corn 
enough to bring them home. The usual practice was 
to build them a hut of logs, outside the fields, where 
they would sleep and shelter from storms. Here they 
were fed and trained to rendezvous, so as to keep them 
within reach. The young ones were always marked by 
notches or crops on the ear, each farmer having some 
special way of marking them. They were never fattened 
to weigh any thing like the hogs now raised. The meat 
was thought to be sweeter when not fed so highly; this 
is probably the case, as they were nearer to the state of 
the wild boar, which is so very delicate. They were 
much smaller animals, rarely weighing over a hundred 
pounds. In their habits they were ravenous to an ex- 
treme, and even ferocious ; their voracity knew no bounds, 
and they would kill and eat up the young poultry and 
lambs on a farm without any scruple. The worst were 
the old breeding sows. Our snake eating sow would 
seize a lamb at any time she could get at one. Some- 
times another sow's brood would make a light meal for 
her. The pigs' redeeming virtue was faithfulness to each 
other, and they would gather for the common defense,, 
wherever one of them was in trouble, and never deserted 



66 Recollections of 

him as long as he could squeal, though they might' utilize 
his remains if he died in the struggle. In this half nat- 
ural state the pig is rather respectable in his general 
"bearing. He is cleanly, social, faithful, and if well fed 
is well behaved. I often noticed their habits of sleeping 
in the general bed, that they packed very closely, and 
alternated nose and tail, and if it was cold and rainy, 
the question as to which should sleep inside or under- 
most usually occupied the night. 

Birds were not very plenty at least the kind 
known as game. The jays in winter, were numerous 
and busy around barns and houses. Eobins were few, 
woodpeckers plenty, as the dead trees afforded them 
refuge and grubs. They were unjustly persecuted, as 
they are now. We had the redbird in moderate numbers 
among the singing birds. The best of this class was 
the brown thrush., and his music was never wanting in 
summer, and delightful music it was too, for he is very 
little inferior to his cousin, the mocking bird. At night, 
the early summer was enlivened by the whip-poor-wills, 
that seemed to fill the air. These birds of night appeared 
to fasten on my affections, and I never tired of hearing 
them. To this day their notes fill me with a melancholy 
pleasure, to enjoy which I would stand for hours in the 
cold spring nights. They carry me back to " life's morn- 
ing march, when my bosom was young," and on the 
sound of their plaintive cry there arise before me in long 
review, all the s^eet Memories of boy and childhood. 
The drumming of the pheasants, as we called them the 
ruffed grouse affects me in like manner, but not so 
fully, as the whip-poor-will only sang to me and set me 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 67 

to contemplating in my own dreamy way, the silence of 
the night or the glory of the starlight, while the pheas- 
ant stirred up my destructiveness in the thought of 
game. In the winter, when the snow was on the ground, 
the pheasants would come up from the woods to pick 
the buds off the peach trees, often a dozen of them at 
a time. They would come about four o'clock in the 
afternoon and disappear at dusk, and a good shot 
could get almost any desired amount of them. But I 
had no gun and had not learned to shoot, though I was 
sure I could have killed meat enough to have kept the 
family if I had. But when I did get a gun I never got 
many of the pheasants. They were not so plenty then, 
or I missed when I shot. 

One of my greatest privations was the want 
of a gun ; as father did not think he could afford to 
buy one, or was not very deeply impressed with the im- 
portance of having one, I had to wait a long time for the 
consummation of a powerful desire. At last I achieved a 
permanent loan of one from a man in town who had 
discovered that a gun was of very little use. This was 
an old shot-gun flint lock, of course and one that 
made a prodigious noise when it went off, besides kick- 
ing in a manner that made it nearly as dangerous to the 
sportsman as to the game. It also had the habit of 
snapping an infinite number of times before it would 
make fire enough to go off a feat that the game was 
very apt to perform first. I was constantly subject to a 
fear that the gun might burst, and between this dread 
and the excitement known to hunters as " buck fever," 
I would tremble terribly when about to shoot at pheas- 



68 Recollections of 

ants. But the old gun came to my relief, and long be- 
fore I could get through with the preliminary snapping 
and picking the flint, I was perfectly at ease, and free 
from the tremor. The explosion would come at last, 
and then away the birds would go leaving me full of 
the belief that they were wounded. But the first winter 
I never had the luck to kill one of these pheasants. It 
was a long time before I learned how to shoot game and 
manage a gun. One day, when returning from a long 
and fruitless hunt for squirrels, I came upon an old 
pheasant, with a brood of young ones. With the hunt- 
ing instinct above all other feelings or thoughts, I banged 

away at the bird, which was within a rod of me. Of 

/ y 

course I missed her, for the load of shot at that distance 
would require as nice aim as a bullet, and she, as such 
birds always do, when they have a nest or young, began 
to flutter and roll on the ground, to divert me from her 
brood. I pitched at her to take her up, when away she 
flew, far enough from me. 1 then concluded to get 
some of the young ones and rear them. But, though 
there were a dozen of them around my feet, a minute 
before, there was not one to be found now. They were 
nearly the size of newly-hatched chickens, and the color 
of the dry leaves, and they have a faculty of hiding that 
baffles all search for them almost anywhere, and espe- 
cially in the woods. Some years after, when I got to 
understand them, I caught two or three young pheas- 
ants, but they were like drops of quicksilver to hold ; 
and, after I got them home, they vanished I never could 
tell how. After this old bird had disappeared, and I got 
none of the little ones, I went on home, through the 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 69 

twilight, an hour, when at the age of thirteen, I was 
greatly inclined to muse and reflect on matters in hand. 
My belief was pretty well settled that I had wounded 
the old pheasant and deprived the little ones of her care; 
so remorse took hold of me, and I went on in deep sor- 
row and humiliation. I rememhered John "Woolman's 
story of killing the robin, and shared his sentiment, 
though it was a full century since he was conscience 
smitten for a like act. I was far from being hard-hearted 
or cruel; but the brutal love of hunting game is so 
strong in man ? and is so natural and so overpowering, 
that the boy who can withstand is a prodigy indeed. 

Another acquisition after getting into the country was 
a dog. This I procured in the shape of an ungainly half- 
breed hound whose other blood was " mongrel, puppy, 
whelp, and cur of low degree " indeed and called him 
BulL He was expected to bring large supplies of game, 
which he never did, though he was pretty good at run- 
ning squirrels up trees, and barking below till I could 
get a shot at them. The first winter we had him, how- 
ever, he found game one night, of the character of which 
there was no question, as the odor of it woke the family 
up at midnight. He killed it near the house ; and next 
morning it was viewed by the family as a curiosity, and 
discussed as to its many qualities and habits, prominent 
among which we decided to be a relish for poultry, and 
what my brother Tom called a brown smell. This thing 
was thrown down the hill, where it lay all winter on the 
snow ; and in the spring, if it was moved at all, it smelt 
as brown as ever. Poor Bull was in bad odor for a long 
time also; but it passed off; and he went forward in the 



70 Recollections of 

many duties of a dog's life, and acquired skill in digging 
after chipmonks, woodchucks, and rabbits, and treeing 
squirrels in the fields where they could be made to jump 
to the ground, when he would catch them in his mouth. 
But his great feat was hunting opossums, which would 
fight fiercely if need be. Bull's plan with them was to 
snap them and shake them helpless. This was also his 
plan with snakes. If he found one, he would bark at it 
fiercely till we would come up, and hiss him on, when, 
the next moment, the snake would be seen flopping on 
each side of his head, till shaken to bits. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 



CHAPTER X. 

River Island River Encroachments A Family Fresh from England 
Early Steamboats Excitement of a Boat's ArrivalSize and 
Shape of Steamboats Fuel for Boats. 

My Uncle Powell, whom I spoke of before, took our 
town house, and occupied it till the opening of spring, 
when he rented a farm on the famous Mingo Bottom, the 
place where Colonel Williamson's men rendezvoused 
when they started on their infamous expedition against 
the Moravian Indians of Grnadenhiitten. It is about 
three miles below Steubenville, where the tracks of the 
Pan-Handle and River Shore 'Railroads meet or separate. 
Mingo Bottom was in that day really much larger than 
now ; for the river has washed away many valuable acres 
from it since I first knew it. The last time I saw it, the 
loss of land within my own observation was probably 
fifty acres besides a great part of the island, which is 
now very little more than a sand-bar and tow-head of wil- 
lows. Then it was covered with large trees, and a voy- 
age to that island, which was not cultivated, and was out 
of the reach of cattle, afforded a regular Robinson 
Crusoe adventure. I always thought there, "I am 
monarch of all I survey ;" for if there was a gleam of 
poetry or romance in any thing it usually affected me. 
Among the natural growths of this island, I remember 
hops, which seemed identical with the cultivated kinds, 
running over the bushes and brush of the drift-wood. 



72 Recollections of 

Since that I have often found them in places not much 
disturbed by cattle, and where the ground was rich. 
They are doubtless indigenous to this state, or the south- 
ern parts of it. 

My uncle's family then consisted of five boys and 
three daughters. They, being recently from England, 
were strange in much of their manners and notions of 
things ; and it fell to me show them American ways, 
which I taught rather authoritatively when we were to- 
gether. They had to learn the customs of the country, 
that I understood, while their foreign customs were no 
equivalent, not being applicable here. For this reason 
they always deferred to me, and I sometimes took on airs. 
But I was very fond of my cousins, and we never quarreled 
or differed unless they differed among themselves and 
obliged me to take sides. My uncle, as a new comer, was 
so unacquainted with the habits and manners of the peo- 
ple, in which I was at home, that he took me into associa- 
tion as an equal on this account. My aunt was very kind 
to me, and as she had come out of the world into the 
rustic West, later than our family, she had more of the 
air of the world about her, and cultivated a regard for 
it, that father from his religious scruples had set at 
naught. Her manners had a charm for me, and what 
she reflected of English life was so much romance to 
my view. Of course I need not say that I was fond of 
going to the Powells whenever I could, though they 
lived nearly eight miles from us ; and they were equally 
fond of visiting us. To me there was the additional 
charm of their living on the bank of the river; and 
when there I improved every opportunity of rowing on 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 73 

the water, swimming, and, above all things, of going 
to the island. In early times there had "been frequent 
skirmishes with the Indians at this point, and it was 
quite a common thing for us to find bullets buried in the 
bank of the river, where they had apparently been shot 
from boats, indicating some sharp contests. 

This was the period when steamboats were begin- 
ning to take their place in the navigation of the Ohio, 
and when the stream was full they made occasional trips 
up and down the river. Their appearance would create 
a great excitement along the banks, and at the towns and 
villages their arrival and landing were great occasions. 
The citizens turned out, and civic ceremonies were ob- 
served between those in command of the boat and those 
in command of the town. At Steubenville they had a 
a little cannon, with which they always fired salutes on 
these occasions ; and the steamboats also carried a gun, 
with which they announced their arrivals and purpose 
landing. On the departure of a boat the like ceremony 
was observed. I remember, on one occasion, I was in 
town, in 1820 (in March, I suppose, from its being cold 
weather), when a steamboat was said to be seen far down 
the river, and the people were gathered in groups to dis- 
cuss the subject. At one tavern where there was a kind 
of lookout upon the roof, a man was stationed with a 
spy-glass to report progress. He announced the ap- 
proach, which was very slow, as there was a strong cur- 
rent, with the opinion that there was something wrong 
with the machinery, as she was about to land. This 
cast dismay over the crowd, and there was a general 
rush for the river bank, to see what could be learned 



74 Recollections of 

there. But site crept along up the shore till about a 
mile and a half below town, where she stopped ; when 
there was a grand rush of men and big boys through the 
mud down the river bank to see the steamer, as if there 
never had been and never would be another. From the 
landing several salutes were fired, but received no an- 
swer. The engine was out of order, and when the cu- 
rious crowd arrived the steamboatmen threw out a cable, 
by which the people towed the boat into port. 

These steamboats were a queer style of water-craft, 
as they had not assumed the forms that were afterward 
found to be suited to the river navigation. Their builders 
copied the models of ships adapted to deep water, and 
the boats all drew too much water to be available in the 
dry season, so that they really could not be used on the 
upper Ohio more than about three months in the year. 
They looked just like a small ship without masts. Some 
of them were of peculiar models, and all had very little 
power in comparison with later boats. Very few of 
them could make over two or three miles against the 
stream when it was strong. When Fulton commenced 
steamboat building, he patented the side paddle-wheels, 
and held a monopoly of that form of boat. This led to 
an evasion in many of the western boats, which .con- 
sisted of placing a wheel on each side of the keel at the 
stern of the vessel, so that the wheels were out of sight 
except from behind. The present stern wheels on river 
boats are a later and very different invention, and 
served a different purpose, being designed to place the 
wheel out of the current and clear the boat of the drag 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 75 

of its eddy. The first boats had no more decking than 
a common sailing vessel. 

The business of the country was then very small, 
and few boats served the purpose. The habit of carry- 
ing off the produce of the country to New Orleans in 
flat-boats continued for a long time after the steamers 
were introduced, as being cheaper and better adapted 
to the seasons of shipping. It was only after steamers 
had become very common, growing in numbers with the 
country, that they took the business. It was some time 
before boats could obtain a proper supply of fuel. They 
all burned wood, and it took time to establish wood- 
yards. It often happened that crews of boats would 
have to land and cut wood, and it was very common for 
them to buy a piece of fence on the banks and use the 
rails for fuel. 



76 Recollections of 



CHAPTEE XI. 

Immense Crop of PeachesKiln-drying Peaches Building a Kiln 
Process of Drying Making Peach Leather Methods of Cook- 
ery Out-ovens for Baking Making an Out-oven. 

The period of which I write, as that in which we 
lived on the farm on Wills Creek, was from February, 
1819, to April 1, 1822; and for convenience I group 
these years together, as easier than to be restricted to 
exact dates. 

The spring of 1820, our second in the country, 
passed through without frost, and we had a fruitful 
season. The peach crop was too great for us to manage, 
and much of it went to waste. After what we could 
sell, the only way of saving them was to dry them, 
which it was customary to do on a primitive kind of 
kiln that was made of stones and clay. Two, and some- 
times three, parallel walls were built, about eighteen 
inches high, and the same distance apart. Broad, flat 
stones were then laid upon these walls, so as to cover 
the walls and space between them, thus giving a surface 
of three to four feet wide and eight or ten long ; the 
spaces between the walls were used as flues, one end be- 
ing left open for fire and the other having a little chim- 
ney to it. The whole kiln was covered to the depth of 
three inches with clay mortar, into which cut straw or 
grass had been mixed, smoothed down and left to dry. 
When dry, fire was built in the flues, and they were 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 77 

made ready for use ; the kiln was mostly covered with a 
shed roof supported with posts. The broad stones, when 
subjected to the action of fire, were very liable to crack 
and break down, and sometimes to explode ; if this hap- 
pened when they were covered with peaches, as it did 
once with us, it was decidedly startling and unpleasant in 
its effect upon the fruit. 

After the kiln was ready and the peaches ripe, we 
gathered them to the amount of several bushels, and cut 
them into halves, dropping out the stones. They were 
then laid evenly upon the kiln, with the rind down, and 
subjected to the fire, which through the stones and clay, 
gave off a very gentle and steady heat. As the peaches 
shrank they were moved closer together, and fresh ones 
put on to cover the space. In this way a succession was 
kept up of fresh and dried peaches till the week was out, 
which in that Presbyterian country was scrupulously 
ended at midnight on Saturday. "When the peach dry- 
ing season came on, the entire family, big and little, was 
brought into requisition and all learned the art. A very 
large amount of fruit was thus preserved. It was the 
only way then known of preserving peaches, except in 
sugar, for this was thirty years before canning was thought 
of. We dried some in the sun, which was reckoned a 
nicer way than on a kiln, but it was very slow and ex- 
posed to trouble from wet weather. 

The peach leather, which I have already men- 
tioned, was made by peeling very ripe peaches, and 
after taking out the stones, mashing the pulp to an 
even consistence and spreading it on a clean board, 
sheets of tin, plates, etc., from a quarter to a third 



78 Recollections of 

of an inch, thick, and placing it in the sun. It would 
dry down to about one-half its thickness, and become 
tough enough to remain in sheets, when it was rolled 
up and put away. This, I think, is the nicest preparation 
of peaches I ever knew ; but it seems never to have come 
into very general use. We made all we could of this 
leather, which stood us good stead in the winter. 

As in that day there were no cooking stoves, all 
cooking was done on an open fire that is, frying, broil- 
ing, boiling, baking, and roasting and these were pretty 
well and conveniently done, witli properly constructed 
utensils, though we knew nothing of the English spit 
and jack. Mother did occasionally roast a pair of fowls, 
or a turkey, or joint of meat, by hanging it up in front 
of the fire by a strong cord, and having one of the chil- 
dren to watch and 'keep it turning steadily till it was 
done, and at Intervals of a few minutes basting it with 
the gravy caught in a dripping-pan beneath. This made 
a delicious roast, and I can not believe that any other 
style of roasting would equal it. Baking, in emergencies, 
was done in a kind of fiat-bottomed pot, called a Dutch 
oven, which stood upon three legs of three inches long, 
and had an iron lid. Into this bread or meats were 
put, and baked, by placing it on the hearth with a 
quantity of coals under it and upon the lid, which was 
made with a rim to keep the coals upon it, and a loop 
handle to lift it by* It also had a bail like a pot, by 
which it could be hung over the fire. Spiders or skillets 
and frying pans were used for frying meats and cakes, 
and especially ham and eggs. The spiders usually had 
covers like the Dutch ovens, and were used for baking 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 79 

biscuits, etc. The fire-places were furnished with cranes 
and other contrivances for hanging things over the fire. 

But the baking proper was done in an out-oven, 
which was made of bricks or clay, some of the clay 
ones being extemporized in a very primitive manner. As 
we had no oven on the place, I undertook to make one 
of clay; and I succeeded pretty well that is, made 
an unsightly thing that did good baking. I had to 
build several ovens, for the storms would destroy them 
through the winter because we had no shed over them ; 
and as I was only thirteen years old when I built the 
first, I guess I did not do so badly. I began by build- 
ing up a cob-house of little logs to the proper height; 
then I floored it with rough boards, on which I put a 
good layer of clay mortar, covering a surface of three by 
four feet, which was left to dry. I then built up the 
doorway, with small flat stones, as I had no bricks, lay- 
ing them in clay mortar, using a large stone for the arch 
of the door. Back of this doorway I piled old wood 
and chips in a heap of the general outline of the oven, 
smoothing it up with bark of old logs and other small 
stuff, with a coating of straw. Upon it I put well mixed 
clay, into which straw had been worked, to the thickness 
of three or four inches, covering the whole evenly and 
smoothing it with a wooden trowel, and thus forming 
the arch and walls of the oven. A hole was made in the 
top of the back part for a smoke vent, and then it was left 
to dry for a few days, when I put on another coating of 
clay. 

When this was dry I had only to set fire to the 
wood inside, which burned out, leaving the clay of the 



80 Recollections of 

oven baked and about the consistency of soft bricks, well 
arched and smooth inside. It was now ready for use, 
and twice or thrice a week a fire of light, dry wood 
would be kindled in it, by which it was heated for 
baking. Then the coals would be raked out, and the 
bottom swept with a wet broom or mop ; the loaves were 
shoveled in, the hole in the back plugged up, and the 
door closed. If pies were to be baked they were put in 
after the bread was about half done. For meat it was 
made extra hot, and this it baked splendidly. As my 
sister was delicate for her age, it fell to me to help 
mother a good deal, and thus I became familiar with 
these details. The neighbors had their clay ovens, and 
I saw how they were made ; but the first I saw made I 
made myself. I have still a prejudice that neither bread 
nor pies can be baked to taste so well as those baked 
in ovens of this kind, either brick or clay ; and as to 
peach pies, they have never been baked to suit me since 
such ovens went out of fashion. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 81 



CHAPTER XII. 

Mistakes in FarmingPlowing with a Pony Cattle in the Woods- 
Memorable Fog The Boatman's Horn Hafts on the River. 

About the time we had got our forage together for 
the first year we really had scarcely enough for the cow 
and horse, but father had a strong notion of raising 
sheep ; and so he made an arrangement with some of 
the sheep growers of Steubenville to take a lot of sheep 
of them in the fall, and, in payment for these he was 
to give them back the same number of lambs the next 
fall, or as soon as he raised that many. Of course he 
took ewes, for the sake of the increase and the means of 
paying for the flock. But the wool growers took good 
care to give us old ewes. The result of this was that we 
had the care and expense of keeping more sheep than 
the land would sustain, and realized nothing but the 
wool, which was low in price. "We increased the num- 
ber of our cows also, and soon had too many of them. 
I remember that father bought one cow, two years old, 
and calf, for six dollars. The cow was small, without 
horns and milk-white. This kind of hornless cows was 
common in that country, but, though they had no horns 
to hook with, they were not usually good tempered, and 
if angry would butt with the top of the head. 

The second year I set about plowing with an old 
plow we had, which was one of the most unpromising 
things in its way I ever remember seeing. I think it 



82 Recollections of 

was the longest of all farm implements. As we had but 
one horse, my plowing was confined to plowing between 
the rows of corn, and as Paddy was a beast with a will 
indeed, the very strongest part of him was his will I 
could not guide him with a line, so my brother Tom had 
to ride and guide him. When the corn was small he 
would get out of the rows and trample the corn, and 
when it had grown to some size he would stop to eat it 
in spite of all the efforts we could make with loud hal- 
looing on my part and vigorous thrashing on Tom's 
part. The harness we used was rather primitive, con- 
sisting in toto of bridle, collar, hames, back-band and 
traces. The hardest thing to manage was to get hame- 
strings that would stand a hard pull, or the jerking 
Paddy was given to. It was not an uncommon thing, 
when we were going through a corn row, for the point 
of the coulter to strike a root or stone, when the hame- 
string would break and the harness and Tom would come 
flying off over the horse's rump, Tom in a high state 
excitement and Paddy walking off to the first good bunch 
of grass with the most profound indifference to the state 
of affairs. We had no buckles to the harness, and with 
our little hands we could not tie a knot that would stand. 
It was the same when we hauled wood, which we mostly 
did by the process called " snaking." We would tie a 
chain around the end of a log, and thereby drag it on 
the ground. If the log was small, or there was snow, 
we got along pretty well ; but if the load was heavy, we 
usually had a scene of balking and harness breaking 
trying to my patience and unpleasant to Tom if he rode. 
Paddy was a safe horse that is, he was small, and it did 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 83 

not hurt any one to fall from him, and if he did n't stay 
in his tracks he was always to be found where there 
was something to eat. But this is my observation re- 
specting ponies, donkeys, and boys there is almost in- 
variably too much expected of them ; and they are re- 
quired to do more than they can. In the matter of 
horses, "get the best." You want a horse for his 
strength, therefore get a strong one. Father made, or 
rather caused his boys (and me as the oldest) to make a 
miserable failure in farming, by getting first one and 
then two ponies, and expecting them to do the work of 
horses. 

In the summer our cows ran in the woods, which 
were unfenced, and so they had to be hunted up in the 
little valleys whither they would stray. Usually they 
would come up in the evenings and stay till morning 
near the house, but if they failed to come up, and stayed 
out over night, we would have a long hunt for them. 
This was an excuse for a ramble in the woods that was 
never without some kind of adventure. Though I felt 
the importance of having the cows milked regularly, I 
never failed to enjoy searching after them, and the more 
as it led me into new plapes, or to great distances. The 
land there was made up of so many small valleys 
and their intervening hills and rocks, that there was 
constant change of scene; and when these were still 
covered with their native growth of rather small timber, 
including pitch-pine, hemlock and the flowering laurel, 
which is a variety of the rhododendron, and the trees 
often draped with wild grape-vines, they were most 
charming places for enjoying my turn for the romantic. 



84 Recollections of 

The fall of 1819 was marked by the prevalence of a 
dense fog mixed with the smoke of the clearings of the 
forests that made it impossible to see any considerable 
distance for many days. From the boats on the river 
the banks could not be seen, nor the boats from the banks. 
It was customary for the boatmen to carry tin horns with 
them, from which they sent forth a wild music through 
the fog that still sounds to me most enchantingly. The 
notes were all on a minor key, soft and weird, and when 
its source was unseen it seemed like the wail of a spirit. 
I do not wonder that General Wm. O. Butler made that 
horn the burden of his only poetic effort, and sang : 

t( 0, boatman ! wind that horn again, 
For never did the listening air 
Upon its ambient bosom bear 
So soft, so wild, so sweet a strain. 
What tho y thy notes be sad and few, 
Yet, boatman, wind thy horn again I 
Tho' much of sorrow mark its strain, 
Yet are its notes to sorrow dear, 
Yet is each pulse to nature true, 
And melody in every tone." 

As all navigation of the rivers that could be was done 
by floating, the lumber from the upper river was all 
rafted, and in the spring and early summer, when the 
water was flush, the rafts were a leading feature of the 
river life. They were made up through the winter on 
the small branches of the Alleghany, and floated out on 
the first spring freshet. Sometimes several rafts would 
be joined together, till they would cover an acre of space, 
or even more. On these were built shanties for the men, 
and vast heaps of shingles and lath in bundles occupied 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 85 

a part of the space. As the lumber region of Penn- 
sylvania and New York, drained by the Alleghany, was 
a pretty good place to emigrate from, families were con- 
stantly leaving for the countries down the river, and they 
made these rafts available as the means of moving. In- 
deed, for the purpose nothing could be more convenient, 
for the movers could build themselves a comfortable 
shanty of the loose lumber, a shed for their horses or cows, 
if they wanted to take them along, and be quite at home 
during a journey that would often occupy three or four 
weeks. I have seen the shanties of two or three fami- 
lies, with wagons, horses, cows, and even poultry, all 
snugly situated, with room for the children to play out- 
side. Often I have seen the women washing, and a 
clothes-line hung with the linen, as if in the door-yard 
they had left. Perhaps there never was so complete a 
picture of the voyage of life as one of these raft emigra- 
tion journeys presented in this way. To the young chil- 
dren it must have had an incomparable charm. I know 
I often watched them from the bank of the river with 
longing envy. To think of being always on the river, 
where there was no confinement to close quarters, and 
where you could stand on the water's edge and fish, and 
watch the passing shore, with all its changes of scene, to 
me was enchantment. Perhaps the children on the rafts 
did not see it thus. The parents who felt all the anxiety 
of the emigrant did- not, most certainly. 



Recollections of 



CHAPTER 2HL 

Helping Moye to Coshocton County Transportation Driving the 
Stock The Movers' Room at the Tavern Homesick Horses A 
Long Ride Back Camp-meeting in the Rain Dismal Expe- 
rienceAnother Camp-meeting One of the Mourners Desire 
for Conversion Unbelief. 

In the spring of 1821, my uncle Powell left Mingo 
Bottom to settle in Coshocton county, on the Tuscarawas 
river, near White Eyes Plains, then a wild and only par- 
tially settled country. He was not able to buy land, but 
took a lease of a tract for seven years, the conditions of 
which were, that he was to reduce the land to cultivation 
and have the .produce for his compensation the quan- 
tity of land that he should clear being a matter of his 
own choice. The occasion of their family's moving was 
an event for me, particularly as I was engaged to assist 
in driving their farm stock a part of the way, and they 
had the use of our pony, Paddy, to help get their wagons, 
of which there were two, over the hills. The starting 
of this expedition was very elaborate ; and as the distance 
to be traveled was about eighty miles, it took on the 
character of an overland journey to strange lands. 
Preparations were fully made for victualing the forces, 
and the commissary department was active for days be- 
forehand. As they were going to a new country, they 
sold off nothing, but took all they could of household 
or farm utensils. Consequently, the transportation was 
heavy. They hired a wagon besides their own, and left 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 87 

much stuff for subsequent transportation. The loading 
up of the wagons occupied nearly the whole day of start- 
ing, and it was late in the afternoon when we mustered 
the cattle, sheep and pigs in the rear of the wagons. In 
this service, besides my cousins and me, there were two 
boys who made it the occasion to visit the new set- 
tlement, and an additional volunteer force from the 
neighbors. 

To start off such a mixed drove of animals was no 
trifling affair, for, though they would drive pretty well 
after getting used to the road and a day or two's expe- 
rience, their obstinacy and contrariety at first was with- 
out parallel, and a boy to each animal was little enough. 
First, a pig would dart back and run like a deer till he 
was headed and turned, by which time the others would 
meet him and all have to be driven up ; while in the 
meantime a cow or two would be sailing down a by-lane 
with elevated head and tail, and a breathless boy circling 
through a field or the woods to intercept her career ; and 
then the sheep would start over a broken piece of fence, 
the last following the first and leaping higher over every 
obstacle till they were brought back to the road. 

We worked along till night, when we put up, about 
seven miles from the starting point. "We stopped at a 
tavern, as was then the custom, only hiring the use of 
one room, on the first floor, known as the movers' room, 
and the privilege of the fire to make tea or coffee or fry 
bacon. It was very much like camping out, and, except 
that we were housed, was soldiers' quarters. This night 
two of the horses were taken with homesickness and, as 
they were not well secured, went back to the old place. 



88 Recollections of 

The wagoner started after them at, daylight, but it was 
noon before they were brought back, after which the 
line of march was taken up. This was Sunday, and 
though they were very strict about the Sabbath in that 
Presbyterian country, movers were tolerated in traveling 
on that day from an admitted necessity. With my uncle 
and his assistants there was no matter of conscience 
about it. All they asked was, not to be fined. One of 
the wagons was disabled directly after we started by the 
breaking of the king-bolt, for which a wooden pin was 
substituted till we could reach a blacksmith shop, three 
miles further on, and it was a question whether he would 
mend it. But he was found to be sufficiently utilitarian, 
or sinful, to light up his fire and weld the bolt, after 
which we moved up a long hill to our stopping-place, 
fifteen miles on the way. 

The next day we got along pretty well and reached 
Cadiz, in Harrison county, about three o'clock; and here 
they concluded to let me return with Paddy. I was then 
twenty-three miles from home, and it was a long ride on 
a lazy horse to make so late in the day. My uncle 
thought it best that I should go on and stay with them 
that night, but my aunt insisted that, though it would 
be a long, lonely ride for me, I would not suffer as much 
as she was sure my mother was suffering from anxiety, 
for I was more than a day beyond the time they expected 
me home. So I bade them good-by and mounted Paddy, 
with a rather heavy heart, for I hated being out in the 
night, and set off on a slow trot. I stopped once to feed 
him, but otherwise lost no time. It was very dismal 
and pretty cold (April 21st), and about midnight I 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 89 

reached home, to the great relief of mother, who could 
in no way account for the delay in my return. My aunt 
was right in sending me back that night. 

In 1820, about the first of October, there was a 
camp-meeting in the west part of Jefferson county, near 
a place called Springfield. On Sunday morning of this 
meeting father and I set out to attend it, walking the 
whole distance of twelve miles, which, for a boy of my 
age, was a pretty good walk, especially as we wanted to 
make it in time for morning preaching. I was very tired 
when I got there, and also pretty hungry. We had 
a lunch with us, but I was very bashful about eating be- 
fore people, and still more so at a strange table. The 
brethren invited father to eat, including me, but I would 
declare I was not hungry, and went without, except as I 
could sneak a cake from my pocket, and thus stay my 
appetite. In the evening it came on to rain, and rained 
steadily till morning. The cloth tents afforded but poor 
shelter, and there were but very few wooden ones, or 
wood-covered huts ; and, at any rate, I was too timid to 
go into any of them. Father was lost to me in the crowds 
of those who were singing and praying in the tents or 
at the altar, and I did not want to go into these crowds, 
as I should be beset by those who were pressing every 
uncomfortable looking person to be prayed for ; and I 
know I must have felt that, as to apppearance, I came 
within that rule. I was wet, hungry and tired, and did 
not know anybody. My resort was to stand under the 
platforms on which they had fires burning for lights, 
until I got cold, and then go to one of the big log-heap 
fires and warm and dry my clothes a little', though it 



90 Recollections of 

took pretty steady roasting in this way to keep ahead of 
the rain. There were many other like untrained chaps 
who put in the night in this way, and we kept in a kind 
of gang of miserables who were company for each other. 
We could hear some fellow of a poetic turn occasionally 
allude to the rain in his prayer in a favorite formula, 
which was in this wise : " While thou art watering the 
earth with refreshing showers, pour out showers to re- 
fresh our thirsty souls," etc. This for one who had a 
roof over his head would do, but we who stood outside 
utterly failed to appreciate the beauty of it. That night 
the presiding elder preached a pretty stirring sermon 
from the text : " Say unto the righteous it shall go well 
with him, and unto the wicked it shall go ill with him, 
for he shall eat the fruit of his doings/ 3 I remember 
very distinctly that I followed him attentively till the 
rain drove me from my seat ; and I suppose the sermon 
was an effective one, for there was a lively time in spite 
of the rain. On the way home father asked me if I did 
not feel affected by it. I said, very truthfully, in view 
of my physical discomfort, that I felt badly. I was glad 
to say this, for I hoped it would close the conversation 
on that topic ; but he stuck to it, and, as I think, very 
imprudently intimated to me that he should expect me 
to become religious if I remained in the family. The 
effect on me was not good, but it was short, as it would 
be with one so young. I can not even now understand 
what effect he expected to produce on me. He must 
have been led away by his enthusiasm. I really did not 
feel indifferent to the importance of trying to live prop- 
erly, but there was a kind of sanctity attached to all re- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 91 

ligions experience, in my mind, that overawed me, and 
kept me away. It seemed as if some setting of me aside 
from the rest of mankind was to be passed through, and 
this deterred me, when I might have been led, in a com- 
mon sense way, to be quite religious. 

But once at home from this camp meeting, I was 
not disturbed on the subject for some time, and relapsed 
into the ordinary routine of such life as the country af- 
forded, of free and easy boy's pursuits in the woods or 
fields sinless enough in themselves, but in father's 
view, worldly and wicked because not specially religious. 
I really was quite orderly, never swore, was not cruel or 
unkind, and never lied unless closely pressed, or tempted 
by the love of the marvelous. I suppose if I had 
chopped down a cherry-tree I should hardly have hur- 
ried to say I did it, unless the chopping of the tree was 
an achievement in the way of woodmanship. Things 
wore on in this way till the June of 1821, when I was a 
little over fourteen years old. Father then took me 
with him to another camp-meeting, which was held 
about ten miles from Steubenville, near the line of the 
now so-called Pan Handle Railway, and some six miles 
from where we lived. We started on foot, on Saturday 
morning, with an arrangement ahead for our lodging 
when there. I do not remember a more delightful walk 
than we had that bright summer morning. Nature was 
in her loveliest attire, and 

" The day so mild, seemed Heaven's own child, 
With Earth and Heaven reconciled." 

The song of one thrush by the side of a field is 
ringing in my ears yet. We reached the ground in 



92 Recollections of 

good time in the morning, and were comfortably fixed 
for tent room, with several young men and women in 
the tent family, who made it pleasant for me, so much 
their junior as not to be considered a young man, before 
whom it was necessary to be dignified ; and the mistress 
of the tent took me under her protection. It was a nice 
thing for me to sit in the tent or go about the ground at 
will, while father plunged into the depths of the meet- 
ing, and I escaped his importunities for a time. But 
through Sunday two or three of the young women and 
one young man were " converted." They soon beset me 
with their zealous exhortations, which, with the sphere 
that they established in the tent, so affected me that I 
yielded to their entreaties to be prayed for among " the 
mourners." So I became a regular attendant at each 
prayer-meeting for " mourners," and spent the intervals 
moping about in a very doleful condition of mind, till 
Monday night, when after a time the meeting in " the 
ring" broke up, and all dispersed to the tents. In the 
tent where I was there were no special mourners, and 
they were singing some lively hymns, in which I joined 
with a good deal of spirit. Here a very happy sphere 
prevailed, and I seemed to be so involved in it that I 
sang most joyfully and felt very happy. This change of 
feeling I supposed was the so-much-talked-of conversion, 
and accepted it as such. Believing that I had "experi- 
enced a change of heart," and was thus in some way 
introduced into a new state of life, and by it lifted to a 
superior, as well as safer condition, as to my spiritual 
affairs, I felt a freedom from the sorrow and repentant 
mood I had been in, and was in an altogether ecstatic 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 93 

state. I had been taught to believe that my sins had 
been forgiven by the Divine favor or grace, and that I 
was a new creature, born again and converted. I acted 
according to this instruction, and regarded myself as set 
apart or sanctified to a holy life ; and with this I ac- 
cepted a new responsibility, and I earnestly set about the 
task of curbing my temper, avoiding by -words of a pro- 
fane tendency, I never was in the habit of swearing, 
as I said, and carefully telling the truth. For many 
weeks it is wonderful how rigidly I lived, considering 
my youth and natural inclinations, adding to these sup- 
pressions of evil, a great care to be serious, and not in- 
dulge in any play or " light and trifling conversation." 
But this earnest living, or trying to live righteously, was 
not regarded as the evidence of my being religious. In 
common with others, I understood religion to mean a 
certain amount of enjoyment at meetings and at private 
devotions, which was known as " an answer to prayer," 
after a certain amount of " wrestling." In the first flush 
of my enthusiasm, I thought I experienced this two or 
three times; but as it was something that I misunder- 
stood, and perhaps others misunderstood too, the " en- 
joyments of religion" soon failed me, and I began to 
think I was backsliding and " falling away from grace." 
I labored hard in all the appointed ways to regain it. I 
assiduously attended all the meetings, prayed in secret 
many times a day, and procured the prayers of others ; 
but that peculiar experience never returned to me. I 
kept along in the church as a regular attendant of all 
meetings, etc. As a youth, I was fond of company and 
naturally fond of fun and hilarity ; and in time I man- 



94 Recollections of 

aged to loosen the bands of restraint under which I first 
set out, and so share reasonably in the pleasures of life. 
But in the midst of it I was haunted with the fear that 
I fell entirely short of living a Christian life, and my 
religious career of nearly seven years was marred with 
the weight of a sense of short-comings and backslidings ; 
in fact, I didn't enjoy religion at all. 

When I first set out, my confidence in the idea that 
I was born again, and thence saved, gave me a kind of 
self-righteous bigotry toward the unconverted herd of 
sinners. This did not last long, and I soon came to 
think that I was a frail mortal with the rest of them. 
All this time I received very little instruction in doc- 
trinal matters; and my faith, or belief, was extremely 
vague ; and when I did come to investigate it, and ana- 
lyze it, I very soon fell into unbelief, so that by the time 
I was twenty-one years old, I was really without a re- 
ligious faith of any kind, doubting all revelation, or even 
spiritual existence ; and this in a religious family, with 
daily prayers, and constant church going. But I became 
somewhat scrupulous about retaining a connection with 
the church, when I could not yield it my credence, so I 
allowed myself to be expelled from the Methodist 
Church for an oflense not now regarded as one the non- 
attendance of class meetings, after a membership of over 
seven years. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 95 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The Wills Creek Place Given Up Unfitness of the Family for Farm 
Life A New and Better Farm Bought on Mingo Bottom Want 
of Schooling A Night Grammar School Grammar and Plow- 
ing Making Sugar The Scotch-Irish A Scotch-Irish Neighbor 
A Character Psychological Experience. 

The foregoing experience was begun when we 
lived on the hill above Wills Creek. Near the end of 
the three years we lived there father gave up the hope 
of making the final payments on the land, and compro- 
mised with the former owner by surrendering the pay- 
ments he had made, as so much rent, and giving up his 
bargain. In that respect he lost nothing, though labor 
bestowed upon the place was a great loss, for it never 
yielded back any thing beyond the cost of culture. 

After deciding to leave this place, it seemed that the 
idea of living in the country and trying to farm, stuck 
by father with the tenacity of an affection for a good- 
for-nothing child. It never seemed to enter his head 
that having utterly failed to gain any advantage in the 
support of the family out of the farm, it would have 
been the sensible course to have gone into town where 
we should have had the social advantages, as well as op- 
portunities to make the labor of his boys available in 
assisting him in the general support of the family. 
Instead of this course, he looked about to find a small 
farm to rent, near enough to town for him to be home 
at least two or three times a week, and for us to go to 



96 Recollections of 

meeting in town every Sunday and occasionally oftener. 
After some search lie found a place of twenty-three acres 
of tillable land, and log-cabin, barn, etc., in a small way. 
It had some conveniences, as a good spring, a log spring- 
house, timber privileges, a small number of sugar-trees, 
from which to make sugar and molasses. The soil 
was tolerably good, and it was a better place than the 
old one. I think he rented it all for forty dollars a 
year. The situation was also better, though less pic- 
turesque ; and it was nearer to town, being three miles 
around the road, and about two by a near route up steep 
hills and across fields. It was straight up the hill from 
Mingo Bottom, and about a mile from the river, over- 
looking a very fine view of it, reaching several miles 
down the stream and across the hills into Virginia. 
Altogether it was rather pleasant, and just enough bet- 
ter than the old one for farming to waken in us a remote 
hope of success in that business, and settle the family in 
it, so that when we received a small legacy from my 
grandfather's estate, it was devoted to the purchase of 
a farm, on which we worked out the problem of being 
farmers in entire failure. 

The great difficulty with the family was that we did 
not belong to the farming class. Our tastes and social 
ideas were all in another direction ; and we were just 
near enough to town to keep alive this feeling, which 
stood in the way of success in the country. Mother's 
and father's standards of manners and tastes were 
above those of the people with whom we would have 
associated in the country, and the effect with the chil- 
dren was to foster in them a haughty notion of superi- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 97 

orit-y to our neighbors, which they could not fail to ob- 
serve, and did not omit to despise, especially as we were 
far inferior to them in the business on which we de- 
pended. The consequence was : we belonged to neither 
the country nor the town; we were of the one, and in 
the other. In this state of things, I managed to be tol- 
erably popular with the young people of the country, 
from my naturally social turn. So far as the work was 
concerned, the boys learned to do it, and my mother and 
sister got to be handy in whatever there was to do, and 
worked hard, without any thing to make it pleasant for 
them beyond the mere comfort of the situation, out of 
the crowded town. For my part, I had a great taste for 
rural life, because it was free, romantic and poetic; and 
I liked the work that was to be done ; but the quantity 
of the work to be done, and the constant devotion it 
required, made it slavish to me and irksome, in that it 
cut me off from the gratification of my taste for books 
and letters. 

The worst feature of our life was its waste of our 
time, and the loss of that kind of education we should 
have had. The family got comparatively no schooling; 
and had it not been for the home-teaching and study, 
we must have grown up in the most deplorable manner. 
But father had good taste, with which he inspired us ? 
and mother was fond of teaching us in such studies as 
she could, which fortunately were those afforded by the 
common schools of that time and locality. The younger 
children did go to school part of the time while we lived 
in the country, but I never did. After we moved to the 
place nearer town, I took some night lessons in writing 



98 Recollections of 

and attended an evening school where grammar was the 
only study, and in which I made good progress. I 
studied hard, and followed it up after the lessons were 
through, so that I acquired a pretty thorough under- 
standing of the subject. But two things could not he 
well done at one time, and while I was learning gram- 
mar I did not make the most of the time at work. I 
carried my book in my pocket, and kept* up my lessons 
by frequent reference to the text, often stopping the 
plow to see if I was right in rny recollection of a point. 

This grammar class that I attended, was managed 
on a plan then quite popular, and deservedly so, as it 
gave to young men, and even those advanced in life, an 
opportunity to learn such sciences as were not taught in 
the common schools, or such as they had not learned 
when young. The plan was to make up a class, which 
was usually instructed by some traveling teacher, the 
members studying the lessons at leisure times and reciting 
and practicing at a stated hour, together, usually in the 
evening. At the time I speak of I remember as mem- 
bers of the class men of fifty and boys of thirteen or 
fourteen. Perhaps the youngest of the class was Ed- 
win Stanton, the well-known secretary of war. The 
oldest was a justice of the peace and leading man in the 
town. It was otherwise made up of a young lawyer or 
two, an old shoemaker, a student of medicine, and sun- 
dry mechanics. The teacher was a hatter. 

At our new place I set to work with new spirit and 
a good deal of enjoyment. The soil was so much better 
than the Wills Creek farm that we expected to raise 
good crops, in which we succeeded tolerably. But the 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 99 

great feature in this place was the sugar-camp, wnich, 
though small, gave promise of some sugar-making. We 
boys looked forward to the next spring for this novelty 
to us, and it was with the greatest difficulty I could mus- 
ter patience to get me through the winter. I "built a hut 
for shelter, and a furnace of stone in which to set the 
kettles for boiling the water, and then gathered wood for 
fuel, and made ready as far as I could. But the winter 
hung on, till in January there came a fine spell of soft 
weather, which I supposed might last a week or two ; 
and as the sugar- water would run as well then as any 
time, I got ready and tapped a part of the trees. I 
gathered a little water in the evening, and looked for- 
ward to a fine run the next day, but that night there 
came a fall of snow that was half leg deep. This checked 
up the business, for it soon froze up and all was solid 
winter. I boiled down my little supply of water, and 
left it to go to the house, with a good fire to keep it 
simmering. But it boiled dry and burned up clean. I 
had nothing left but to begin again when the winter 
broke, which was near the first of March, when I went 
at it in earnest and made some very good sugar, of which 
I was very proud. The quantity, however, did not ex- 
ceed one hundred pounds. "We made a small quantity 
each year while we stayed there, but it was rather un- 
profitable. 

At this place we had a neighbor by the name of 
James S., who was from the neighborhood of Belfast, 
Ireland, and was of Scotch descent one of a race of 
people with which that part of the country was nearly 
all settled. Indeed, a very large extent of country in 



100 Recollections of 

South-western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, covering 
the greater part of the upper end of the Ohio Valley, was 
first settled by the Scotch-Irish. They were of a stock 
of Scotchmen who, a few centuries back, settled in the 
north of Ireland, whence they emigrated to the United 
States, and chiefly this part. It seems as if a touch of 
the Irish soil makes a man easy as to the cares of the 
world, and takes from him all that character for prov- 
idence that so marks the Scotchman, under the term 
"canny." And these Irish immigrants were thus af- 
fected. They were light-hearted and jolly, though more 
prudent and thrifty than the pure stock of Irish. They 
were of the Presbyterian faith in religion, very demo- 
cratic in politics, and took kindly to whisky, of which 
they made and drank large quantities, different indi- 
viduals usually doing the making and drinking. Of this- 
people was James S. To whisky he bore the latter rela- 
tion, and was usually under its influence when it was 
handy. He had been pretty well brought up in Ireland,, 
being of a clergyman's family, I believe. He was intel- 
ligent and well read, and besides, he was well versed in 
the politics of Ireland of the period succeeding the 
revolution of 1798, and their relation to English politics. 
He had taken part in the rebellion, perhaps from the in- 
nate tendency of Irishmen to rebellion at all times, for 
he hated the Papists most cordially ; but he had escaped 
any consequences. He was poor, because he had a large 
family, and could not provide for them and drink the 
whisky he wanted and save money. As we had to 
hire help in our farming, he frequently worked for us. 
At any rate, I was a good deal in contact with him, and 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 101 

we always talked when we were together on all manner 
of subjects, he as a man. of fifty and I a boy of fifteen. 
He would retail what he had read, and I would inquire 
and get from him his descriptions of Ireland and his de- 
tails of experience or tradition. Or, we would discuss 
some book we had read, or one that he had lent to me or 
borrowed from me. The books he read were largely theo- 
logical, of the Presbyterian school, and were generally 
solid works. So our conversations were seldom useless, 
and to me they were often a source of a good deal of in- 
formation. I think it is not saying too much to put to his 
credit a stock of information equal to many months of 
school training. Looking back now, it seems to have been 
a valuable association, though the contact of a boy with a 
drunken Irishman would not usually be so regarded. 
But his taste for whisky was a physical weakness, from 
which he and his family were the sufferers. I never 
knew him to lead any one to drink, and his family grew 
up to be steady and respectable. 

My plan of pumping Mr. S. and absorbing his in- 
formation soon became a settled one with me, and I ap- 
plied it to all my associates, and made it the source of 
much valuable knowledge. It was a convenient way of 
coming at facts and history in a pretty well digested and 
compact form, and was a great saving of time. 

About the time we moved to this place I had a 
curious experience that I can not well account for by 
the association of ideas. There is a little valley near 
Steubenville, to the south-west of the town, and in it I 
found a near cut from one place to the other, through 
which I could drive the cows, sheep and pigs without 



102 Recollections of 

going through the town, as we should otherwise have to 
have <lone ? and thus shorten the distance and escape the 
trouble of keeping them together in a strange place. 
Whenever I entered this valley, at either end of it, I 
was invariably affected by great dejection of spirits, 
which lasted until I passed out of it, and whether alone 
or in company this was always the case. The distance 
through it was a little less than two miles. There was 
nothing about this valley, of tradition or peculiarity of sit- 
uation, that could call up associations, to me at least, of an 
unhappy kind. But to me it was always a place of mel- 
ancholy shadows, and it was the only locality that ever 
so affected me. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 103 



CHAPTER XV. 

Schism among the Methodists The Newlights Their Theory and 
Practice Their Great Success Washing of Blue Feet A Cu- 
rious Convert An Enemy of Marriage Final Concession. 

Our new place suited father better than the other 
place, as he could come home almost any evening from 
his business in the town, whilst it enabled him to go with 
the family every Sunday to meeting. 

' Among the Methodists at that time there was a very 
steady succession of meetings of one kind or another, 
and those who belonged to the church found abundant 
entertainment, if nothing else, in the continual round 
of preaching, class and prayer meetings. There were 
then very few public entertainments, and religious 
meetings took the place of these for nearly all the peo- 
ple. A consequence of this was, that meetings were 
carried to an extreme, and religious enthusiasm and ex- 
travagant experiences were cultivated at the expense of 
propriety. There was a class of people who really made 
a dissipation of their religion, and were never satis- 
fied unless going through the most powerfully agitating 
experiences. The more thinking and less feeling of the 
Methodist Church came to see that it was neither orderly 
nor desirable to keep things at this state of high pres- 
sure all the time, and were disposed to moderate affairs 
and take it more calmly. These were soon denounced 
by the enthusiasts, who chafed under what they called 



104 Recollections of 

" a prevailing coldness/' and they warred upon their spirit 
as one of pride and worldliness. They complained that 
they could not enjoy religion when controlled, and in- 
sisted that their quieter brethren did not enjoy it at all. 
There was a number of ambitious brethren fond 
of leading in the various meetings, who in this way 
found a gratification of their spiritual pride, as well as 
earthly vanity. They were always clamoring for author- 
ity to preach or exhort, holding that they had a spiritual 
call to exercise these functions, which, they contended, 
overrode all want of talent, education or intelligence. 
They said if a man was called to preach or exhort, words 
would be put into his mouth, and he would not be want- 
ing because he lacked worldly education; and besides, 
they held that "grammar and dictionary words" were 
hard for the poor and ignorant to understand, and en- 
gendered pride and haughtiness. In fact, cultivated men 
were at a discount. The Methodist Church at Steuben- 
ville, which was the largest church there numerically, 
was rent and distracted with controversies between those 
who wanted to preach, and those who did not want them 
to do any thing of the kind. 

This state of things was soon scented out by some 
preachers in the adjoining country who were known as 
Newlights, but who called themselves Christians. In 
the way of doctrines they had little to say, though, so 
far as I can gather, they taught a kind of Unitarianism. 
But those fellows that came down on Steubenville about 
1824 were a most unpolished and uncultivated set. They 
ranted and roared and shouted to the entire satisfaction 
of the most enthusiastic of the meeting-goers ; and, as a 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 105 

prime article of their faith, they taught that every man 
or woman who wanted to do so had a right to preach, 
and was at liherty to preach, though I remember that 
two or three of them managed to do it all themselves ; 
and they got rid of the clamorous aspirants by conceding 
them the privilege without insuring them a congregation. 
It was not long after the IsTewlights made their 
appearance before they had large meetings, filling such 
rooms as they could get to overflowing, and generally 
raising a noise that could be heard half over the town. 
Of course they drew to them the Methodists who desired 
to preach, or, at least to have shouting meetings. These 
insisted that the Newlights had the " real heartfelt re- 
ligion " among them, and went to their meetings, to the 
scandalous thinning out of the old congregations. And 
they did not fail to denounce their former friends as 
" dead in the love of the world/' as proud and uplifted. 
The brethren who took no interest in the new state of 
things were soon affected by a spirit of jealousy, and 
they fell into the indiscretion of persecuting the New- 
lights by denouncing the preachers as ignorant and 
wanting in good standing before the world they were 
really a little shaky in this respect and particularly as 
teaching false doctrines. The result, of course, was the 
detachment of a large body of the Methodists, who went 
directly over to the new-comers, making up at once 
quite a respectable society, as to numbers at least. The 
Methodists, who were the losers in the conflict, were ex- 
asperated to such a degree that they expelled the mem- 
bers who had left, and talked violently against their ri- 
vals, the Newlight preachers, and treated them in a most 



106 Recollections of 

unchristian manner. This soon reacted in favor of the 
Newlights, and though they were admitted to be a rough 
set, there was soon a strong sympathy with them among 
outsiders. They rapidly increased, and took in many 
from the class of " wicked sinners 3 ' whom the Methodists 
had failed to reach. Among these were a lot of pretty 
hard boys from the woolen factory. From working in 
the newly-dyed wool, these boys became colored in hands 
and face, and especially they were at times extremely 
blue. But the boys, when they became interested in the 
meetings, cleaned their hands and faces, and became very 
presentable. They were regular and zealous members 
of the new church, one of the ceremonies of which was 
" the washing of feet." This ceremony was announced 
one evening unexpectedly, and took the boys, who had 
been working all day in the blue wool, quite unawares. 
The array of blue feet was astonishing to the elders with 
towels girded round their waists, and no small source of 
amusement to the irreverent lookers-on. But the boys 
were in earnest, and endured the trial of their mortifica- 
tion most manfully ; and a trial it was, for their fellow 
apprentices did not fail to allude to it many a day affce.r- 
wards. 

These IsTewlights picked up and developed a num- 
ber of queer cases, and as they had frequent experience 
meetings, at which every one present had the privilege 
of voluntarily saying all that he could put into the 
shape of an experience, the speeches on these occasions 
were often very singular. Among the converts was a 

chap by the name of , who, with his father, 

pursued the business of trading in paper and paper 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840, ^ 107 

mill stock. This brought them into contact with every 
country store keeper and every one that dealt in rags or 
any thing in their line ; and the s had the reputa- 
tion of being incorrigible cheats particularly the old man. 
The son, however, was more quiet in his manner, and 
excited less remark. But he became a convert -to the 
new faith, and was in dead earnest ; and one of the first 
things he did, was to go round among those with whom 
he had dealt, and open up his accounts, and repay them 
the full amounts out of which he had previously cheated 
them; in a few cases, when his money ran out, he 
acknowledged his indebtedness. This transaction he re- 
peated in detail at the first succeeding experience meet- 
ing, to the surprise as well as amusement of the general 
public. He read off the accounts from his memoranda, 
all of which were verified by the parties concerned. 
With all this he was profoundly pk>us, and from that 
time forward he bore a reputation the reverse of his 
old one. 

He was, however, very eccentric in his ways on all 
religious subjects; he was awfully solemn, never laugh- 
ing or taking any kind of pleasure ; and in every thing 
he tried to apply the scriptural injunctions literally. He 
therefore very readily adopted the notion that he ought 
not to marry ; for he said they neither married nor were 
given in marriage in the kingdom of heaven. He loved 
a fine buxom sister in the church, who reciprocated the 
sentiment, but did not adopt his notions about marriage. 
His proposition was that they should live together, but 
not be married, for that would be like the angels. They 
had a long time in settling this affair ; and my father in 



108 Recollections of 

whom they both had great confidence, was consulted on 
both sides, and advised with very often. The man was 
as solemn as an owl, or a dozen of them if you please, 
and would argue the matter with father, who contended 
against it, and urged every kind of reason, but without 
effect. So did others of his friends, as well as his 
sweetheart, who engaged every one she could to persuade 
him to act like " any other man," and be married. All 
had confidence enough in him to trust his word to live 
with her and to be faithful to her ; and at last, knowing 
that a public promise that he was going to live with her, 
would bind him legally, they gave in to him, and he 
took her home to live with him ; of which he made an- 
nouncement at meeting. They lived that way till they 
had several children, and then they were married. Sev- 
eral years afterward I met with him in a pretty sound 
condition of mind. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 109 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Death of the Author's Grandfather in Wales A Small Legacy 
Buying another Farm A Sad Bit of History Moving Out to 
the New Farm Sticking in the Mud with the Ponies Pulling 
through. 

In. the summer of 1824, my grandfather Howells 
died rather suddenly, in "Wales. This made a sort of 
revolution in our affairs, for with his death father had 
expected to get a legacy of about six hundred pounds or 
$3,000; which was a great affair at that time. This 
legacy had ,been left by a will, which prescribed that 
certain specific property was to come to father, subject 
to incumbrances of the estate, which incumbrances 
proved to be heavier than was expected, and when it 
was settled up, the legacy netted father only about $500. 
This was a sore disappointment in many respects, for 
some of the other heirs received fixed sums in money, free 
from the debts of the estate and cost of settlement, 
while the particular property yielded next to nothing. 
Bat whatever the sum was to be, it was a settled affair 
that it was to be laid out mainly in buying a farm the 
farm to be in proportion to the amount, in quantity and 
eligibility. 

As soon as the news of grandfather's death came, 
the family began to grow ambitious, and we were also 
treated with increased consideration by others. But we 
had prudence enough to make no foolish spread. So far 



110 Recollections of 

as I remember, the serious mistake we made was in not 
going far enough to get land, and buying it at a cheap 
rate and of better quality than we could obtain near 
Steubenville, with the means we had. We heard of va- 
rious places for sale, and made many journeys to look at 
them. These visits were mostly made by father and me 
together, and we had many a pleasant ride in the fall, in 
various directions. Father made no decisions in these 
matters without my opinion, and to a great extent, when 
I was eighteen years old, he deferred to my decisions in 
all matters relating to a farm. Mother was averse to 
going into a very new country, and for a long- time we 
tried to find a farm such as we could manage to buy 
within a short distance of town, but in this we failed. 
At last we settled upon one in Harrison county, about 
twelve miles west of the county seat and thirty-seven 
miles from Steubenville. The place consisted of one 
hundred and sixty acres, or a "quarter of a section," 
and was tolerably good land, but was very hilly, there 
not being one level acre on the whole. 3?or this father 
paid six hundred dollars, or three dollars and seventy- 
five cents an acre. 

He bought the land of a moneyed man in Steuben- 
ville, who had got hold of it in a way that had a sad 
story connected with it. There was a large family of 

the name of M in that county, Scotch-Irish people, 

who were characterized by the inherent love of whisky 
that belongs to that compound race. They were among 
the first settlers and had some property. Among them 
was a doctor, who had a large family of boys, then 
mostly grown up. The doctor was past the middle of 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. Ill 

life. He had the reputation of having been an able 
physician with an extensive practice, when he first came 
in from Pennsylvania. When we came to know him, 
he had drunken himself out of practice and into pov- 
erty. His sons had grown up without trades or pro- 
fession or business, and the eldest son was eminently 
worthless. He spent money, traded and drank, and got 
into scrapes, and helped to use up the doctor's means. 
As the old man was running down he bought this quar- 
ter-section of land, and moved onto it and cleared it up 
in part, and had been on it ten or twelve years. It was 
first entered under the old land system of annual pay- 
ments, which he made, and went on getting himself a 
home for his old age. When the last payment was to be 
made, he gave his son the money to go to the land-office 
and get out the patent for it. But the son had got into 
trouble, and to raise money he paid off the land in his 
own name, and mortgaged it to the man of whom 
father bought it. The poor old doctor supposed he 
owned the land till he was notified by the mortgagee. 
He was never able to redeem the farm, though the mort- 
gagee would have favored him, and it was finally sold to 
father, who bought it when he found the doctor could 
not and did not expect to keep it. I remember his wife 
one day gave mother a pitiful history of their case with 
many tears. Thus we succeeded a broken down family 
a second time. 

Father bought this place in the fall, and we made 
ready to move out in the spring. The distance we had 
to move was above thirty-five miles, over very rough 
roads hilly and muddy and in some places they were 



112 Recollections of 

scarcely passable. We set about moving in March, 1825, 
the winter then being broken up, but the roads very far 
from settled. Our preparation for moving was poor. 
We had a wagon, which was new, but not a light one, 
and we were still afflicted with our brace of ponies- 
Paddy and Gin for which the wagon alone was not a 
bad load. For a pioneer load we filled the wagon with 
a number of articles, till we found we had too much for 
the ponies. Then we hired a third horse, and father and 
I set out with him. Our plan was to make the trip out 
in two days, which would have made less than twenty 
miles a day. But by the time we got started it was past 
noon. We set out, hoping to make a point twelve miles 
off, but it was very muddy, and the hills proved to be 
much steeper than we anticipated. When we got to the 
first big hill, we found our ponies and the third horse did 
not work well together, except they all three balked in 
concert. We rested them, coaxed, whipped and hallooed 
for a long time, till at last we got up, in a most discour- 
aged condition of mind. It then began to rain, which, 
softened the mud so that it would not stick to the 
wheels, and we got along two or three miles further, and 
night came on. We then had a stretch of down hill, 
which indicated a corresponding ascent to make ; and I 
well remember, as the mud seemed to get deeper every 
rod we went, how I dreaded that ascent. It came at 
last, and at once we stuck. We urged on the horses,, 
but in vain. There we were, in the dark, the mud 
and the rain. So father went on to a house at the top 
of the hill, and got the farmer to come with two horsea 
and help us out. At his house we stayed the night,. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 118 

and made a pretty good start the next day; and the 
horses working a little better, while the weather im- 
proved, we got through on the third day, having passed 
through deep mud and sore tribulation. 

We returned without a load and pretty easily, and 
forgot the trouble of the trip. About a week after, 
a farmer living on the place adjoining our new one, 
brought his wagon and team of three horses for a final 
move, we supposing that we could, with our team and 
his, take what there was to move. But this proved a 
mistake, and a pretty good load was left behind to come 
after, some other time. It was a great job to get loaded 
up and every thing packed into the wagons ; but we were 
ready to start on the morning of "Wednesday, I think it 
was, and we got through by Saturday. Take it all in 
all, it was a dreadful journey. The weather was change- 
able, and part of the time it rained and the roads were 
terrible so bad that we could hardly get up any long 
hill without doubling the teams. Then there were 
the cattle and sheep to drive. My youngest sister 
was only a baby then, and poor mother had to ride in 
the wagon with the goods. It was the best that could 
be done, and there was no complaint. The rest of the 
family very gladly walked, and it was a light task to 
keep up with the wagons. The man who moved us took 
us to his house, where we stayed to rest till Monday. 

Then we had an experience in the way of crowding. 

The cabin on the place in which Dr. lived, was 

small and dilapidated, and not where we intended to live. 
The neighbor who moved us had contracted to build us 
a house, which he had raised and covered, but it had no 



114: Recollections of 

floor, doors nor windows, so we had to go into the old 
house till it was finished. But the place the doctor was 
going to was full, and he could not move for several 
days. "We had accordingly to go into the cabin along 
with his family. My recollection of this cabin, which 
was logs, of course, is that it was about eighteen by 
twenty feet square, with a sort of porch, the length of it, 
and perhaps six feet wide, and a loft over head, in the 
highest part of which you could make a bed on the floor. 
Into this shelter the two families crowded for the time 
they staid say four days, at the least. We were then 
nine that is, father, mother, and the seven children. I 
was eighteen years old that spring, 1825 all the rest 

younger. Of the M s, there were the doctor and his 

wife, two boys and a daughter, all grown up. Here 
were fourteen, to be accommodated with shelter night 
and day. As I write this in a house where there would 
be a room for each, I do not myself see how it was 
managed. But that was fifty years ago, and people put 
up with worse things. The fact is, there was no al- 
ternative, and when it is that or nothing, we can do 
many odd things. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 115 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Method of Clearing the Land Deadening Burning Logs Trees on 
Fire Opening Up a New Country Hewn-log Farm-houses 
Log Barns Character of the Settlers Prevalence of the Ke- 
ligious Sentiment Calvinism No Politics Talked Religious 
Controversies. 

As soon as the M s got away, we straightened 

ourselves out a little and put things in shape to live till 
the new house was done, which was larger and had an 
upper room of some capacity. Then the spring work 
came on, and we were kept pretty busy, for in addition 
to the plowing, the fences were to be repaired and the 
fallen trees to be cleared up ; and of the latter there was 
plenty to do. In that part of the country where the 
oak mostly white oak prevailed, the land was all 
cleared by the process of "deadening' 5 : that is, the small 
stuff was grubbed out by the roots ; that too large to 
grub, and less than a foot in diameter, was cut down and 
burned up on the spot ; and the larger trees were girdled 
by chopping them round with an axe, cutting through 
the bark and sap-wood (which killed them so that they put 
forth no leaves, or if in leaf, withered), and left standing. 
This w#s an easy way to clear the land and get in a 
crop of almost any grain. To have cut down the trees 
and cleared them off the ground, would have cost more 
labor than the new settlers could have afforded, and with 
their means it could not be done. After they had 
grubbed the bushes, chopped off the small trees and 



116 Recollections of 

deadened the large ones and burned off the brush, they 
plowed and put in the crop. From that time forward 
there was a continual dropping from the deadened trees, 
first of leaves, twigs and bark, then of the larger limbs, 
and lastly the trunk, which would fall in any way the 
wind or its weight threw it. 

These dead trees would not all disappear from a 
field in less than fifteen or twenty years. Our place had 
been cleared about ten or twelve years, and the dead trees 
were just in the condition to cover the fields each winter 
most plentifully. The winter before we got there had 
brought down a great quantity, which we had to clear up 
before we could plow. The clearing-up consisted of gath- 
ering the limbs and chunks and laying them at intervals 
across the fallen trunks, so as to burn them oft'. This 
was easier and quicker than chopping the trunks into 
lengths, as by attending to them well two or three boys 
could burn off more logs in a day than a man could 
chop in a month. The burnt-off logs were afterward 
rolled together and with the rubbish of other kinds 
burned up. The burning had to be done when the logs 
were dry, and it required care to keep the fire under 
control. If it was windy it was liable to get into the 
fences or the dry leaves of the adjoining woods, on the 
grass or stubble of fields, and do great mischief. 

We went to work on our old stuff and got along 
pretty well, for it was hot and dry ; but on a Saturday 
night, a wind sprang up, and started the dying log heaps 
that were nearly burned out. On Sunday morning we 
were dismayed to see that the wind had spread the fire 
into the standing dead trees, where it was beyond our con- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 117 

trol. The dry, half rotten bark and sap-wood of the old 
trees was like tinder, and if a spark lodged in them it 
would set the tree in a blaze which would creep up to the 
top and along the branches, and the wind would blow it 
to other trees, the fences, forests and every-where. We 
might have cut them down, and we tried to do that, 
but we found it unavailing, and all we could do was to 
guard the fences, and other property, which was no light 
task, for we had to tear the fences down and scatter the 
rails, as the only way of saving them. We worked hard 
all day, in the wind and smoke, and a fierce sunshine 
that was only tempered by the smoke. In the afternoon 
the fire started in the dry leaves in the woods, where it 
seemed to lick up the very ground. This was soon 
stopped by some neighbor boys, who raked a line clean 
in front of the fire, and left it nothing to burn. When 
night came on and the wind settled with a prospect of 
rain, so that we felt no fear of danger, we found a com- 
.pensation in the illumination we had, for every one of 
these dead trees stood out against the darkness like a 
giant candelabrum of most fantastic design, with the 
little tongues of flame starting from every point of the 
branches, looking as if it held a thousand tapers of va- 
rying size. The fields were full of them, and the scene 
was grandly fairy-like. It was a very common thing 
for the fire to get into the dead trees in the spring time 
where it would burn for several days and nights together. 
The sight of a field of these burning trees was always 
beautiful usually a little more so in your neighbor's 
field than your own ; you had the advantage of the dis- 
tance and the safety. 



118 Recollections of 

The whole of this season had the charm of novelty 
about it. We were amongst a new people, and a much 
newer part of the country than before. All around us 
they were opening up new farms, building cabins on them 
and thus continuing the customs and habits of the early 
settlers. Out of the villages or small towns there were 
very few houses not built of logs. The best farm houses 
were made of hewn logs, that is, logs flattened to a reg- 
ular thickness. These were notched together, so that 
they nearly touched each other in the wall. The inter- 
stices were filled with pieces of wood, in a rough way, and 
then, for a good house, this " chinking " was plastered 
over with a good mortar of lime and sand, on the inside 
and outside of the wall. The mortar-joint between the 
logs, where it became dry and white, gave the house a 
good appearance, and effectually shut out the weather. 
The corners of the house were trimmed down, and doors 
and windows cut through the logs and cased up, so as to 
give them quite a respectable exterior. A good house 
would have a shingled roof, a brick chimney and well 
laid floor above and below. A very common house floor, 
as well as barn floor, was made up of what were called 
puncheons that is, thick slabs split out of logs, hewn 
on the face and edges and cut to a level beneath. They 
formed a very stout and solid floor, and sometimes they 
were as good as boards. Our new house had this kind 
of floor. It was of hewn logs, but had a clap-board 
roof. It was clean and comfortable, and when we went 
into it was a great improvement on the old one, which 
we abandoned. 

This summer we also built a barn of logs, and as 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 119 

hickory timber was plenty, we made it of hickory logs 
peeled of the bark. In this way they were very durable, 
looked well and were easily hauled, which was done by 
the process called "snaking" that is, dragged on the 
ground by a chain tied around one end of them. The 
logs were cut twenty-four feet long, so that they formed 
a pen of twenty-four feet square, when raised. There 
were two pens put up twenty-four feet apart, and raised 
on one foundation, which was twenty-four by seventy- 
two. They were in this way carried up to a proper 
height, when they were connected by logs and a com- 
mon roof. This made a double barn, with stabling and 
more room at each end, and a barn floor and wagon- 
shed in the middle. Such was the universal style of 
barns in that country, and it was as good as could be 
made of logs. Many of them are yet to be seen all over 
that part of Ohio, but they are mostly out of use. 

The settlers were mainly from western Pennsyl- 
vania, though many had come in from the western 
part of Maryland and Virginia, and the prevailing na- 
tionality was the Scotch-Irish of the second generation. 
Their religious persuasion was the Presbyterian that 
is, it was their ancestral faith, though the Methodists 
had recruited their membership almost wholly from this 
element of the population. There were three or four 
sects of Presbyterians, who had divided on minor mat- 
ters, but the larger body was that known as the " Gen- 
eral Assembly " church. They were all Oalvinists, and 
their confession of faith was the same, and all used the 
" Longer and Shorter Catechisms" of the Scottish 
Church, and the Westminster Confession of Faith was ac- 



120 Recollections of 

cepted by all of them. A chief point of difference was 
the singing of hymns arid the Psalms of David. A small 
portion of them adhered to the old Scotch Covenanters. 
The religious feeling pervaded the whole community 
intellectually, and all accepted the general orthodox 
standard of faith. Those who were regarded as religious 
had joined themselves to some of the communions. 
The rest were material for missionary effort of the sev- 
eral sects. The public mind was more largely employed 
with religious subjects than in later years, and it was 
the subject and object of nearly all public meetings to 
consider religion in some of its relations. Politics oc- 
cupied the people much less, and they talked less about 
it than in after times. This, however, was before the 
great Jackson era, whose poison has so thoroughly per 
meated the practical politics of the country. 

I speak of a locality removed from the county 
seat. There politics was always active, though now it 
occupies less general attention in the larger towns than 
in the country. The discussions at the time I speak of 
were nearly all religious, and there were sometimes 
fierce controversies that did any thing but promote 
charity. The leading question at issue was at all times 
the freedom of the will and the Calvinistic doctrine of 
predestination. The Presbyterian sects all accepted this 
doctrine in its strong sense, and qualified it with no con- 
ditions. They insisted that God is all powerful and can 
do as He sees fit ; and as He knows all things, present 
and future. He of course determines the arrangement of 
every thing. The free will side of this question was 
taken by the Methodists and Quakers and their adhe- 



Life in Ohio> 1813-1840. 121 

rents. They usually admitted the premises of the other 
side not knowing what else to do, and invariably had 
the logic and the conclusions against them. They main- 
tained their position more by a conscious conviction that 
man has freedom of will, than by any argument. These 
controversies were unending, of course, and nearly as 
fruitless as unending. 



122 JRecollections of 



CHAPTER 

Social Conditions Neither Rich nor Poor Dress Spinning and 
Weaving at Home Stuffs Produced Prices of Cloth Distil- 
leriesPrevalence of Whiskey Drinking No Temperance So- 
cieties. 

The social condition of the people was rather primi- 
tive and very simple. None of them were wealthy. 
The possession of a quarter section or two of land, 
pretty well cleared up that is, about a third or half of 
it under culture with a log-house and barn, was thought 
to make a man well off. The money value of the 
wealth of the average of farms, would not be over $2,000, 
including the improvements. Nearly every man lived 
on a piece of land of his own, and this was usually in 
eighty or one hundred and sixty acre tracts. Their 
stock was small, and mostly their families were large. 
Almost every man was the son of a farmer in an older 
settlement who had come in to this to have a farm of 
his own, out of what his father could spare; or some 
man who had been a farm laborer or renter in an older 
place, had bought land and was opening out a home. 
Among such a people there were no rich, and none very 
poor. Most of them lived very plainly. They usually 
had enough to eat, though they were liable to run short 
a while before harvest. All that would bring money 
was sold to provide for taxes and such payments as only 
money would make; and those who had payments to 
make on their land were pretty sure to sell themselves 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 123 

bare, and were often hard put to it to maintain them- 
selves in provisions. 

As for dress, that was very plain, and fortunately, 
there was but little temptation to extravagance in this 
way. The women of the family, in almost every in- 
stance, produced something to wear. Besides the knit- 
ting and sewing, which was the work of the older 
women, the wool of the few sheep each farmer kept was 
spun in the family. So also was the flax that grew on 
the flax-patch, which was regularly cleared off in the 
winter, sowed with flax in March, harvested in June, 
and immediately planted with potatoes yielding two 
important Irish crops in one year. The wool was some- 
times carded at home, but usually it was sent off to one 
of the carding machines that would be put up in a 
mill, for the purpose of preparing the wool for spinning 
by carding and making it into rolls, that were about a 
yard long and three-fourths of an inch in diameter, light 
and soft, and from which an even thread was easily 
spun, either on a large spinning-wheel or the little 
treadle- wheel used also fo!r flax. The quarter acre flax 
patch and the few sheep would, almost without noticing 
the expense or labor, produce the material for clothing a 
large family. The women pulled the flax, or at least 
helped to pull it, and helped in dressing it, and 
always spun it up. One or two grown up daughters 
would dispose of a large supply of flax and wool. The 
best flax was spun into a fine thread for linen, of 
which shirts and like wear were made ; a coarser quality 
was made into sheeting and summer pantaloons. Sum- 
mer coats were never worn, for when it was too warm 



124: Recollections of 

for a cloth coat, men went in their shirt sleeves. The 
same short method was adopted as to summer shoes 
omitting the shoes and stockings. The wool was 
spun, into an average grade for cloth and flannel. 
A mixed cloth was made with a linen warp and woolen 
filling, which they called lin&ey, that was worn mostly by 
the women and children. It was made lighter than 
cloth, and cost less than flannel. Very often it was 
woven in plaid figures, and when new looked well, and 
was esteemed quite a desirable article for every- day 
dresses. The young women always thought themselves 
well dressed in a new linsey dress for winter, which, 
when new, would be worn to meeting, singing schools 
and " frolics," as they called all social gatherings where 
the young people made merry together. As the colors 
faded the dresses came into every-day wear, and they 
were so durable that they lasted till the next year's 
manufacture was brought in. Sometimes people made 
their flannels in plaids, which were nice and wore well. 
Fulled cloth was made at home till it was woven, when 
it would be taken to the fulling-mill to be finished. This 
was worn by the men and big boys, and made excellent 
clothing, though it was not fine, and the color was apt to 
fade. There was hardly a family of girls where one of 
them did have a loom and weave all the plainer kinds of 
stuff for themselves and for others, so that the spinning 
and weaving was practically done at home. The prices 
of these manufactures are worthy of remark when com- 
pared to other produce. The stuff was woven one yard 
wide, which was the width when finished, except the 
fulled cloth, which shrunk to three-fourths. This cloth 



126 Recollections of 

tality ; and the manner of taking -it was from the neck 
of the jug, each man swallowing as much as he wanted. 
The custom was a sore trial to father, who had practiced 
the total abstinence principle, and who tried to do so 
in this neighborhood; but no amount of talk or protest- 
ing would satisfy his neighbors that it was not stinginess 
that induced him to refuse to furnish whiskey at raisings 
and on other occasions when he called upon the neighbors 
for the usual gratuitous assistance. With this pressure 
he gave way and furnished it at such times, under pro- 
test. At that day there were no temperance societies, 
though they soon after came in vogue. But none of the 
early temperance societies pretended to take a stand on 
total abstinence. The most they aimed at was limited 
use. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 127 



CHAPTER XTX. 

Absence of Game Wild Fruits Cultivated Fruits Supply of 
Snakes Copperhead Bites Exciting Adventure Eemedies of 
Copperhead Poison Planting an Orchard Tobacco Kaising. 

There was not much hunting or fishing on this re- 
gion. The country was too well settled for game, and 
the streams were too small for fishing. Occasionally I 
saw some deer and turkeys in the woods, but I never 
got a shot at them. Of the wild fruits the variety was 
not great, being almost confined to wild plums, grapes, 
service berries, etc. The plums were in great abun- 
dance and most delicious in quality. I never saw as good 
before or since. The service-berries were more plenty 
there than I have seen them elsewhere ; and we could 
often get enough of them to be of some use. The cul- 
tivated fruits were in tolerable supply, and peaches were 
as plenty as could be desired so plenty that no one 
thought of buying or selling them. They were to be 
had for asking, when to be had at all. They were dis- 
tilled and plenty of brandy made of them; but their 
season was short ; and they were scattered as to locality 
and time of ripening, so that it was not a very great 
business. The grapes that grew wild there were not so 
large as I have seen, but they were good and of a pleas- 
ant flavor some quite sweet. 

One of the natural features of the country was a 
good supply of snakes the worst ones being copper- 



128 Recollections of 

"heads and rattlesnakes. The prevalent rock of that 
country was a fine-grained sand rock, that lay about on 
the surface of the ground almost every-where, in. the 
form of flat stones, usually so thin that the sun would 
warm them through. This made comfortable quarters 
for such serpents, and they throve in the fields and open 
woods to a troublesome extent. And what was worse 
about it, was that they would stay under or on these 
warm stones long after night-fall, or stretch themselves 
in the smooth pathways, at nights, if the weather was 
warm, so as to be really dangerous to the boys, who 
nearly all went barefooted. The first summer we were 
on this place my youngest brother was playing among the 
weeds in the garden, when some snake, which we sup- 
posed to oe a copperhead, bit him and disappeared. He 
was terribly poisoned by it, and suffered a great deal of 
pain. The bite was on his foot, which was swollen and 
extremely painful. We got some remedies from a doc- 
tor, consisting of sweet oil and some kind of purgatives; 
but he was not free from the effects of it for many weeks. 
He was then only five years old. This was in June, a 
season when the snake is not thought to be so poison- 
ous as in warmer weather. Later in the summer, about 
the first of September, one night we heard the dogs 
barking at something in the woods a short distance from 
the house. Like boys, who are always ready for any 
sort of game, four of us went nearly a quarter of a mile 
into the thick underbrush, down a hillside, to find the 
dogs barking under a tree, where some animal had 
climbed up. The most we could possibly have caught 
would have been an oppossum or woodchuck or rabbit^ 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 129 

neither of which, would have been worth the catching in 
the summer. But we could not forego the opportunity 
to get some game, ever so worthless. Finding nothing 
we struck across to a path leading to the house ; but we 
had scarcely reached the pathway, when my brother 
Tom leaped into the air and screamed with fright 
and pain. It was only starlight, but he insisted that 
he saw a snake glide away from his feet. There was 
no doubt that a snake had bitten him ; and we knew it 
was either a rattlesnake or copperhead, for the pain he 
was suffering was terrible, and the foot was swelling 
rapidly. 

We had heard it said that it was a good thing 
to cut the skin around the bitten part and wash it with 
water, and as we happened to be near a spring we went 
to it. I gave Tom my knife, and he cut his foot, and we 
washed it in the water as long as he could endure the 
pain. But the poison soon began to affect his mind, and 
he was crazy with the belief that he was surrounded by 
thousands of snakes. So we suspended the washing, 
and I took Tom on my back and started for home, the 
others running by me and holding to me. While we sat 
by the spring, though there might have been snakes in 
plenty, we had no dread of them ; but the moment we 
started home we were seized with a panic, and we ran y 
increasing the speed as we went. I remember that be- 
fore I got to the house, which was more than forty rods 
away, and up hill not very steep I leaped every step 
as far and as high as I could ; for, being barefooted, I 
was in dread of snakes at every step, and really I should 
think, if I had come down on a snake at one of those 



130 Recollections of 

leaps, it would have been bad for him, and lie would 
have had to bite quick to hurt me. They met us from 
the house with a light, which relieved us of the panic. 
Tom was taken in-doors and his case looked to. By that 
time the swelling had reached his body, and the symp- 
toms were alarming. We had heard that whiskey was 
useful in such cases, but we had not learned that it was 
to be drunken as an antidote. I was sent off to the 
nearest tavern for a supply of whiskey, with which we 
bathed the part affected with the swelling. How much 
good it did I can not tell, but after a few days the swell- 
ing went down. He was kept on as much milk diet as 
possible, and, beside that, got a goodly share of all the 
cures for snake-bites that the neighbors would mention. 
The chief remedy of this kind was a plant of the wild 
lettuce family, which grew in the woods. It was there 
called lion's heart, as it had a heart-shaped leaf. It was 
an opium-bearing plant, which exuded a thick milk from 
the stem and root. This was mixed and boiled with 
sweet cow's milk, and poultices made of it, which were 
kept to the foot and leg. "We consumed a vast amount 
of this plant, whether it did any good or not. I think 
it quite likely that the opium it contained was the useful 
quality in it. It seems to me now that Tom was laid up 
over a month from this, and was unable to do any thing 
till fall. For several years afterwards he complained of a 
return of the symptoms at the same time of the year. 

The clearing for an orchard was pretty heavy work, 
as the trees had to be cut off entirely. We had never 
been very good farmers, but when it came to clearing 
land, it put us to our best efforts. Father was no axman 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 131 

at all, and I was not stout of my age, and only moder- 
ately skilled in the art, though I improved afterwards. 
The hardest labor to me was the grubbing ; that is, dig- 
ging out the bushes by the roots, for they were large and 
very firmly set. They were dug out with a mattock 
which had to be sharp enough to cut the roots, and yet 
thick-edged enough to stand striking the stones* The 
bushes were awfully tough on this ground, and had it 
not been for the help we hired I guess the clearing would 
scarcely have been done at all. A new enterprise helped 
us out of this job. 

For two or three years the people in and near this 
neighborhood had been raising tobacco of a particular 
variety, which proved a profitable business, and helped 
materially to supply the farmers with articles they 
needed, and to pay for their lands, for the crop would 
mostly bring cash. The kind of tobacco raised was a 
variety that had been raised in Maryland, and was known 
as light or yellow tobacco. It differed from the Virginia 
crop in being a lighter and finer plant, and being cured 
by the heat of fire, instead of the air of a shed, as was 
the heavier kind. It was left for the leaf to ripen or 
turn yellow upon the stalk, when it was gathered and 
dried over great fires in a close house, so constructed as 
to confine the heat around the leaves until they were 
thoroughly cured. The manner of producing and pre- 
paring this tobacco was as follows : 

The finest quality was grown upon newly-cleared 
land for the first crop. The land chosen was light soil, 
somewhat sandy mostly a chestnut ridge was deemed 
the best, and was cleared off in the winter. There was a 



132 Eecollections of 

ridge of thin land near our new house that was suitably 
situated for an orchard, on. which we decided to raise a 
crop of tobacco the second year, which was 1826 ; and so 
we set to clearing and fencing it in the winter. It was 
pretty well timbered, and a sturdy undergrowth of young 
oaks, hickories, iron wood, and any thing that was tough, 
covered all the ground. To grub these out was no fool of 
a job, and it made very hard work; with some hired 
help we got it done, but we could not cut off the timber 
as we should have done, and had to deaden a great part 
of it. By the time, however, that we had it about 
, cleared, a man by the name of J. H. proposed to raise 
the tobacco in partnership with us, which proposition 
was accepted, and we were left free to put in our sum- 
mer crops on the farm. The bargain with H. required 
us to help in planting the tobacco, which had to be done 
with dispatch. Very early in the season say the latter 
part of February H. came and burned a great brush- 
heap on a rich spot of ground, about a rod square, for a 
plant bed. The burning of the brush was to kill all the 
weed-seeds and grubs in the ground, which was in its 
primeval condition. "When it was cooled off, it was 
raked well and the tobacco seed sown in it; and then 
the whole was covered with light brush, to keep the 
hens off, as they were likely to scratch it to pieces. In 
about six weeks the plants were to be seen, and about 
the last of June we set them out, as cabbages are planted, 
each plant in the ground singly. The ground, after be- 
ing plowed, was marked with furrows of two feet apart, 
into which we set the plants, about one foot apart. This 
had to be done when a rain was coming on, and the 



Life in Ohio, 1818-1840. 133 

ground was wet ; it was also common to plant while it 
was raining. H. and I did the planting in one or two 
days, I don't now remember which ; but I do remember 
the kind of feeling I had in my back afterwards. The 
tobacco grew very well, but as it was never our luck to 
have our dishes turned upwards when it rained porridge, 
the market value of the tobacco was greatly reduced by 
the quantity likely to be produced. H. got to under- 
stand the fact, and he persuaded father that the crop had 
better not be divided, and proposed terms of dissolution, 
father to pay so much when the crop was gathered, and 
take it all, or to pay him so much and finish the crop. 
Father chose the latter, which was a grave mistake, as 
nearly all the work was still to be done. So we had the 
tobacco crop on hand, which fortunately came on after 
the harvest, but sadly interf erred with putting in a crop 
of wheat for the next year. At least it made the work 
harder. 

To cure the tobacco, the first thing was to build a 
house to cure it in. This we built of logs. It was put 
up in one high story say fifteen or sixteen feet to the 
square. It had no windows, was covered in tight and 
chinked and daubed between the logs. A door was cut 
in one end which was made to shut tight. On the 
ground was built a stone flue, open at one end, outside 
the house, into which the wood was put for heating it ; 
the inner end of the flue was left open for the smoke and 
heat to ascend through the inside of the house. Then 
the space was filled with tiers of beams about four feet 
apart, on which the tobacco was to be hung. As soon 
as the leaves began to turn yellow, we gathered them by 



134 Recollections of 

stripping the ripest from the stalk. These we tied into 
convenient bunches, and, parting each hunch, hung- them 
astride a stick, made by splitting like laths, four feet 
long. When this was full, it was taken to the top of the 
tobacco house, and the upper tier of joints filled with 
rows of these sticks, care' being taken not to have the 
green leaves so close as to moid or sour. When the 
house was filled we lighted a fire in the flue. The fire 
was raised by degrees, and kept at a moderate heat till 
all the tobacco turned to a bright yellow, by perfecting 
the ripening process. After this, the heat was raised till 
it was hot enough to bake bread in any part of the 
house, and continued till the leaves were thoroughly 
d r i e( i the object being to cure them dry, before they 
turned brown, or lost the bright-yellow, which was reck- 
oned the perfection of the quality. This firing took 
eight or nine days, and it had to be kept going con- 
stantly, or the tobacco would spoil, by becoming 
spotted. When cured it was stowed anywhere under 
shelter, till damp weather would come on, when the 
leaves became pliable and could be tied into bunches 
called hands, each of which would weigh about half a 
pound. We sold ours in this condition, for a price 
greatly below what we had expected to get for it, and at 
considerable loss of time and labor. The price of the 
yellow tobacco had been very high, some of the lots 
bringing as much as half a dollar a pound for the newly 
cured leaf. There was great speculation among the 
people who cultivated it, as to what it was used for; 
though the general conclusion was that it was sent to a 
German market, and used in dyeing. But I never really 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 135 

found out the object of curing tobacco in this way ; nor 
do I know whether it is so cured now. "We never re- 
peated the cultivation of tobacco. It was introduced 
into that part of the country by settlers from Maryland, 
who had been used to it in their homes. 

One of the hardest things about curing the tobacco 
was watching the fires, which were kept up night and 
day for over a week, and when there was not sufficient 
help to keep the fires going it was very trying. For my 
own part, I was nearly worn out by attending our to- 
bacco fires; and I became so sleepy that I could hardly 
keep awake on my feet. I remember once, that I act- 
ually went to sleep walking along the road, and walked 
several rods till I fell into a ditch, and thus awoke. 
This was on the way home from mill, when one of 
the boys was along, who enjoyed the fun of seeing me 
stagger. "We lightened the labor of watching the to- 
bacco fires by roasting corn and eating peaches, which 
were just in season ; but this did not supply the place 
of sleep to growing boys. 



136 Recollections of 



CHAPTER XX. 

Going to Mill Water Mills Horse Mills Scarcity of Money Cash 
Articles Grain Basis Price of Wheat Wages Ohio Canal and 
Work on it Methods of Travel Taverns and Tavern-keeping 
Travel by Carriage Travel on Horseback. 

Going to mill was one of the features of our kind 
of life, and it was far from being unpleasant. In all that 
country there were small streams, which though they 
had some kind of mills upon them, were sure to go dry 
or freeze up when grinding was wanted. One of the 
difficulties was that the new farmers generally ran out 
of grain, just before harvest, when there was plenty of 
water; and as soon as the wheat ripened grinding had 
to be done, by which time the water was dried up. 
Steam-power had not been introduced in a small way, 
and there was no substitute for water but horse-power. 
Accordingly they used it for mills, and every here and 
there some thrifty fellow built a horse-mill. A big shed 
was put up, and covered in, to protect a single pair of 
very light and cheap mill-stones sometimes second- 
hand, from a water-mill and a great wheel on an up- 
right shaft, to which four sweeps were fixed, for the at- 
tachment of horses. The wheel was overhead and 
armed with cogs to transmit the power to the mill. 
Sometimes they would have a cheap bolting apparatus, 
extemporized from book-muslin, and sometimes they had 
none, and if you ground corn it had to be sifted at home. 



Life in Ohio, 1818-1840. 137 

And these mills, though they punctually took toll, did 
not furnish their own power- Each customer took a 
couple of horses with harness on, and hitched them on 
to the mill to make the power* Sometimes they would 
meet others at mill, when they would unite their teams, 
putting on six or eight horses, and then it would go 
pretty merrily. But it took about so much power, either 
in time or teams to run the mill, and if you joined you 
had to wait till the united grists were ground. I always 
had a good idea after my horse-mill experience, how 
much power it took to run mill-stones. Two horses 
could turn a mill if the horses were stout and the mill 
was light, but if it was otherwise, it was of no use to 
talk of the mills of the gods grinding slowly these 
were slower still, and they ground exceedingly coarse. 
But the mills were a wonderful place to gossip, for you 
had to be there all day to get a moderate grist done ; 
and there was time to hear and tell a great deal. I 
found our small horses very unpopular, and when there 
were good teams there, it was hard to join with others. 
"We had another resource, which was to go a long dis- 
tance away to a water-mill, on a large stream. This took 
more time, but it was far more agreeable. 

When I look back to those times I am struck with 
the scarcity of money, and the difficulty of getting it, 
and the expedients of barter that were resorted to. For 
instance, at the stores there were articles that they 
called cash articles, that you could not buy without 
money. These were mostly tea, cofiee, etc. Leather, 
iron, powder, lead, and like articles were also of this 
class. These things could not be bartered for with the 



138 Recollections of 

produce of the country, except a few products that were 
treated as of cash value. Among them were linen, 
cloth, feathers, beeswax, deerskins, and furs, which 
were not too heavy to transport, and would be taken by 
wholesale dealers in payment for goods. Among the 
people in the country trade was conducted on a grain 
basis. Thus, a day's work in harvest was paid with a 
bushel of wheat or a bushel and a half of corn or rye 
or buckwheat. The shoemakers, tailors, blacksmiths, 
etc., took their pay in grain the customer always find- 
ing the leather, cloth, or iron, and the mechanic doing 
the work. 

We were thirty-five miles from the Ohio, the 
nearest point where there were merchant mills, and 
cash was paid for wheat. Consequently, the price of 
wheat with us was the cost of transportation less than 
the price of the river. Fifty cents a bushel was a great 
price for it at the river; and, as two horses and a man 
were required for four days to make the journey, in 
good weather, with thirty-five or forty bushels of wheat, 
and a great deal longer if the roads were bad, it was not 
to be expected that we could realize more than twenty- 
five cents in cash for it. But there was no sale for it in 
cash. The nominal price for it in trade was usually 
thirty cents, and the storekeepers took it at that rate, 
putting enough on the goods to make it up. I remem- 
ber once taking a load of wheat to the store, in our 
wagon, for a man who had worked for it, which he sold 
for twenty-five cents, and took his pay in iron at twelve 
and one-half cents a pound. 

We were situated half way between the Ohio river 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 139 

and the Ohio canal, when it came to be made, which was 
in 1825-6-7-8. That part of it nearest to us was in 
process of building in 1826-7, and this afforded work 
and money to the men who could do it during the 
winter, at prices they seemed glad to get and thought 
they were doing well to take. Hands were paid eight 
to ten dollars a month for chopping, digging, etc., re- 
ceiving board and lodgings in addition ; but every wet 
day was counted out, the laborer losing his time and the 
contractor the board. In this way, it would take all 
winter to make about two months time. It was hard 
earned money, but it was esteemed worth the labor. 
There were certain things for which money was required 
to be raised, the chief of which were taxes; and to 
these the ready money was applied. 

It also took money to travel with, if you went in 
good style, but if a man had to go somewhere and had 
but little money, he would carry his provisions with him 
and apply his cash for shelter or a part of his fare. 
Journeys were made on horseback or on foot, and sel- 
dom extended more than a few days, mostly being 
within a hundred miles, which could be made with only 
one night out. For taxes but little money was needed, 
as the assessments were light. The cost of travel in our 
part of the country, was about sixty-five to seventy-five 
cents a day for a man, and a dollar for a man and horse. 
This included every thing but drinks, which, being only 
whiskey, were pretty cheap say six and one-fourth 
cents a dram. For a sober looking man tie bottle 
would be set on the table at dinner, or offered to him 



140 Recollections of 

after he paid his bill, without extra charge. The toper 
was not so indulged. 

Tavern keeping was reckoned a good business then ; 
and it was so ? for it was likely to command a certain cash 
income which, even though small, was valuable. At the 
low prices of the time there was profit in it, as the fare 
was plain, usually consisting of ham, eggs, chickens, tur- 
keys, game, and now and then beef, with potatoes, corn 
and wheat bread, maple sugar and molasses, honey, etc. 
The victuals were generally well cooked, and sometimes 
accompanied with good tea and coffee, but at times these 
were horribly bad. The taverns were small, and well 
strung along the road, for night overtook travelers at all 
places, and they seldom wanted to travel far after dark, 
on roads that were mostly through the forest. Farmers 
who lived by the road sides would always keep travelers 
at a cost a shade below the taverns, and many of them 
made it a point to keep such as called for the sake of the 
ready money it would yield. 

Traveling then was a peaceful and unpretentious af- 
fair. If a man had a carriage he traveled in that, and 
was a kind of nabob if he could do so. On some routes 
there were stage coaches, but very few of them in Ohio ; 
and it was a princely proceeding to travel in them. The 
well-to-do citizen put money in his purse, took his horse, 
well saddled, rolled up his overcoat in a portmanteau, 
which was tied at the back of his saddle ; put his change 
of clothing and the like into a pair of leather saddle- 
bags a kind of wallet that balanced on the saddle by 
having the ends filled. If he kept a servant, the serv- 
ant similarly accoutered, rode a horse behind the master, 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 141 

after the old English fashion. The less consequential 
traveler took his own horse and waited upon himself. 
A more independent way was to walk, or, as the Scotch- 
Irish people always called it, travel. A hearty man, in 
the habit of walking, would go as far in a day as a horse 
would carry him, and on a long journey, forty miles a 
day was not reckoned at all extraordinary. 



142 Recollections of 



CHAPTER XXI, 

The Author Opens a Grammar School Not so Popular as Singing 
Schools How Singing was Taught Social Occasions Dancing 
Sinful Substitutes for it Kaisings How the Cabins were 
Built Mutual Help Jolly GatheringsCorn Huskings, 

As the common school course of that time did not em- 
brace grammar as a study, it was made a specialty by lec- 
turers, who would impart a very good idea of the science 
to a special class in a short time, particularly as their 
pupils were mostly persons of maturer minds than school 
children. In the fall of 1825, 1 got up a class in gram- 
mar at the nearest village, and another at a school-house 
near where we lived, in the country. The classes met in 
the evenings of certain days twice a week, and became 
tolerably proficient ; and I made some acquaintance and 
got a little practice, but it was not particularly profitable 
in the way of payments of fees, for, according to custom, 
I had to take pay in trade, which was of little value by 
the time I got it worked into shape. Some of the young 
men who attended the country class paid in work at 
thirty-eight cents per day, which was the current trade 
rate for work, though it could be obtained for twenty- 
five cents in cash at almost any time. Young men 
would engage in farm labor very cheerfully for five dol- 
lars to five dollars and fifty cents a month. I did not 
follow up the business of teaching beyond that winter. 

My grammar classes were regarded, like singing and 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 143 

spelling schools, as an occasion for young men and wo- 
men to get together, and as such they were rather dry 
and uninteresting to most of the young people. This I 
saw after my experiment. The singing schools took 
much better, as the music was more generally interesting, 
and those who attended to take part in them without 
much study. Indeed, the science brought into use at 
these schools was very limited, and consisted mostly in 
a few of the crudest rules of notation, with practice in 
singing, which was nearly all by ear ; while the music 
produced was entirely church music, such as they heard 
at all places of public worship. The principles of mu- 
sic were never learned by many who sung tunes from 
the books in use. The singing was either in words of 
hymns where each note had its syllable printed under it, 
or, as they called it, by note, which consisted in singing 
in unison the notes of the tune by the syllable me > faw, 
sol, law, for at that time do, re, si, were not used in 
English psalmody. As it was very difficult to fix these 
syllables to the right notes, the books were printed in 
what they called patent notes, or, in ridicule, buck- 
wheat notes. Instead of having the note-heads round, 
they were made of different shapes, the seven notes 
of the scale being made up by repeating three of the 
notes. 

"With this arrangement they could sing slow tunes 
very readily, and as for rapid ones, they managed it by 
ear. There was nothing but vocal music taught at 
that time. They had no pianos out of the large towns, 
and the violin was played by ear; playing the fiddle 
was rather a sinful affair, at best. 



144 Recollections of 

The attraction to the singing schools was the social 
one of the young men and women getting together 
and haying a pleasant time, for it was understood that 
the girls, who could generally come out with their 
brothers or family Mends, would accept the company of 
some young man to go home, as an escort. In this way 
they made acquaintances and sometimes matches, as- 
well as having a pleasant time. The spelling schools, 
were attended on the same principle and largely for the 
same object, as indeed were evening meetings, and 
meetings generally. 

I was decidedly fond of attending all such gather- 
ings, because they were occasions of sociability, that in 
the monotony of country life were very desirable. They 
'were extremely rustic and democratic socially. But 
I was not affected by that, though mother looked 
upon them as rather common, and father objected be- 
cause they were too worldly and not solemnly religious. 
This was especially the case with regard to the frolics,, 
as they were called, that is, parties for huskings, house- 
raisings, etc., where there would be a female side of the 
party in the shape of a quilting, sewing or spinning bee. 
They were almost sure to dance ; and dancing was es- 
teemed one of the deadly sins. I made up an opinion 
for myself that dancing was not wrong, and did not 
hesitate to be present at a dance, if it was in the way ; 
but, in deference" to father's orders, I never tried to 
dance, and thus lost the opportunity of learning that 
valuable art. At pious houses, where dancing was for- 
bidden, if they had a party, the case was compromised 
with plays and the like, where the forfeits were largely 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 145 

paid in kisses a very acceptable currency with young- 
sters, the too free use of which was certainly not 
good. Like an over issue of any currency, it materially 
depreciated the value without enriching those who re- 
ceived it. In short, the moral tendency of the plays 
was far worse than the dancing, and they ought not to 
have been allowed to displace it. 

I can hardly realize how greatly things have changed 
since that period, and what a primitive and simple kind of 
life prevailed. Particularly remarkable was the general 
equality and the general dependence of all upon the neigh- 
borly kindness and good offices of others. Their houses 
and barns were built of logs, and were raised by the col- 
lection of many neighbors together on one day, whose 
united strength was necessary to the handling of the logs. 
As every man was ready with the ax and understood this 
work, all came together within the circle where the raising 
was to be done, and all worked together with about equal 
skill. The best axmen were given charge of the placing 
of the logs on the wall, and some one of experience took 
the general direction. The logs of the width and length 
of the house were usually of different lengths. Those 
intended for the two sides were placed in a convenient 
place, some distance from the foundation ; those for the 
ends, in another place. The first two side logs were put 
in place at the back and front ; then the end logs were 
notched down in their places ; then two side logs would 
be rolled up on skids, and notched in their places. At the 
corners the top of the log, as soon as it was put in place, 
would be dressed up by the cornerman; and when the next 
logs were rolled up they would be notched, which notch 



146 Recollections of 

would be turned downwards upon the saddle made to 
receive it, when the cornerman would saddle that log 
ready for the next. This kept the logs in their places 
like a dovetail and brought them together so as to form 
a closer wall. The ends of the skids would be raised on 
each new log as it was laid down to make a way for the 
next. The logs on these skids would be rolled as long 
as the men could handle them from the ground; but 
when the wall got too high, then they would use forks, 
made by cutting a young notched tree, with which the 
logs would be pushed up. By using a fork at each end 
of the log, it could be be pushed up with ease and safety. 
The men understood handling timber, and accidents 
seldom happened, unless the logs were icy or wet, or 
the whiskey had gone round too often. I was often at 
these raisings, because we had raisings of the kind to do, 
and it was the custom always to send one from a family 
to help, so that you could claim like assistance in return. 
At the raisings I would take the position of cornerman, 
if the building was not too heavy, as it was a post of 
honor, and my head was steady when high up from the 
ground. In chopping on the corners we always stood 
up straight, and it required a good balance. 

This kind of mutual help of the neighbors was ex- 
tended to many kinds of work, such as rolling up the 
logs in a clearing, grubbing out the underbrush, splitting 
rails, cutting logs for a house and the like. '"When a 
gathering of men for such a purpose took place there 
was commonly some sort of mutual job laid out for 
women, such as quilting, sewing, or spinning up a lot of 
thread for some poor neighbor. This would bring to- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 147 

gether a mixed party, and it was usually arranged that 
after supper there should be a dance or, at least, plays, 
which would occupy a good part of the night, and wind 
up with the young fellows seeing the girls home in the 
short hours ; or, if they went home early, sitting with 
them by the fire in that kind of interesting chat known 
as sparking. 

The flax crops required a good deal of handling, in 
weeding, pulling and dressing, and each of these pro- 
cesses was made the occasion of a joint gathering of 
boys and girls and a good time. As I look back now 
upon those times, I am puzzled to think how they man- 
aged to make such small and crowded houses serve for 
large parties, and how they found room to dance in an 
apartment of perhaps eighteen feet square, in which there 
would be two large beds and a trundle-bed, besides the 
furniture, which though not of great quantity, took some 
room. And then, if these were small houses, they often 
contained large families. I have often seen three or 
four little heads peeping out from that part of a trundle- 
bed, that was not pushed entirely under the big bed, to 
get their share of the fun going on among the older 
ones, while the big beds were used to receive the hats 
and bonnets and perhaps a baby or two, stowed away 
till the mothers were ready to go home. 

One of the gatherings for joint work, which has 
totally disappeared from the agriculture of modern 
times, and one that was always a jolly kind of affair, 
was the corn husking. It was a sort of harvest home 
in its department, and it was the more jolly because it 
was a gathering with very little respect to persons, and 



148 Recollections 'of 

embraced in the invitation men and big boys, with the 
understanding that no one would be unwelcome. There 
was always a good supper served at the husking, and as 
certainly a good appetite to eat it with. It came at a 
plentiful season, when the turkeys and chickens were 
fat, and a fat pig was at hand, to be flanked on the table 
with good bread in various forms, turnips and potatoes 
from the autumn stores, apple and pumpkin pies, good 
coffee and the like. And the cooking was always 
well done, and all in such bountiful abundance, that no 
one feared to eat, while many a poor fellow was certain 
of a " square meal" by being present at a husking. 
You were sure to see the laboring men of the vicinity 
out; and the wives of a goodly number of farm hands 
would be on hand to help in the cooking and serving 
at the table. The corn husking has been discontinued 
because the farmers found out that it was less trouble to 
husk it in the field, direct from the stalk, than to gather 
in the husk and go over it again. But in that day they 
did not know that much, and therefore, took the original 
method of managing their corn crop, which was this : 
as soon as the grain began to harden, they would cut 
the stalks off, just above the ears and save these tops for 
fodder, and if they had time they stripped all the blades 
off the stalks below the ears, which made very nice 
though costly feed. Then, as barn room was not usually 
over plenty, they made a kind of frame of poles, as for 
a tent, and thatched it, sides and top, with the corn 
tops placed with the tassel downward,' so as to shed the 
rain and snow. This was called the fodder-house, and 
was built in the barn-yard. Inside they would store 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 149 

the blades in bundles, the husks, and the pumpkins 
that were saved for use in the winter. The fodder- 
house was commonly made ten feet high, and as 
long as was necessary, and it was used up through 
the winter by feeding the fodder to the cattle, begin- 
ning at the back, which would be temporarily closed by 
a few bundles of the tops. It would thus serve as a pro- 
tection for what might be stored in it till all was used up. 
The fodder-house was of all things a favorite place for 
the children to hide in and play. When the season 
for gathering the corn came, the farmers went through 
the fields and pulled off the ears and husks together, 
throwing them upon the ground in heaps, whence they 
were hauled into the barnyard, and there piled up in a 
neat pile of convenient length, according to the crop, 
and say four or five feet high, rising to a sharp peak 
from a base of about sis feet. Care was taken to make 
this pile of equal width and height from end to end, 
so that it would be easily and fairly divided in the mid- 
dle, by a rail laid upon it. 

When the husking party had assembled they were 
all called out into line, and two fellows, mostly ambitious 
boys, were chosen captains. These then chose their 
men, each calling out one of the crowd alternately, till 
all were chosen. Then the heap was divided, by two 
judicious chaps walking solemnly along the ridge of the 
heap of corn, and deciding where the dividing rail was 
to be laid, and, aa this had to be done by starlight or 
moonlight at best, it took considerable deliberation, as 
the comparative solidity of the ends of the heap and 
the evenness of it had to be taken into account. This 



150 Itecollections of 

done, the captains placed a good steady man at each 
side of the rail, who made it a point to work through 
and cut the heap in two as soon as possible; and 
then the two parties fell to husking, all standing with 
the heap in front of them, and throwing the husked 
corn onto a clear place over the heap, and the husks be- 
hind them. From the time they began till the corn was 
all husked at one end, there would be steady work, each 
man husking all the corn he could, never stopping ex- 
cept to take a pull at the stone jug of inspiration that 
passed occasionally along the line ; weak lovers of the 
stuff were sometimes overcome, though it was held to 
be a disgraceful thing to take too much. The captains 
would go up and down their lines, and rally their men as if 
in a battle, and the whole was an exciting affair. As soon 
as one party got done, they raised a shout, and hoisting 
their captain on their shoulders, carried him over to the 
other side with general cheering. Then would come a 
little bantering talk and explanation why the defeated 
party lost, and all would turn to and husk up the rem- 
nants of the heap. All hands would then join to carry 
the husks into the fodder-house. The shout at hoisting 
the captain was the signal for bringing the supper on 
the table, and the huskers and supper met soon after. 
These gatherings often embraced forty or fifty men. If 
the farm house was small, it would be crowded, and 
the supper would be managed by repeated sittings at 
the table. At a large house there was less crowding 
and more fun, and if, as was often the case, some occa- 
sion had been given for an assemblage of the girls of the 
neighborhood, and particularly if the man that played 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 151 

the fiddle should attend, after the older men had gone, 
there was very apt to be a good time. There was a tra- 
dition that the boys who accidentally husked a red ear, 
and saved it, would be entitled to a kiss from somebody. 
But I never knew it to be necessary to produce a red 
ear to secure a kiss where there was a disposition to 
give or take one. 



152 Recollections of 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Religious Meetings and Privileges Walking to Meeting Hospitality 
and Simplicity Farm Buildings Log Barns Thrashing Grain- 
Use of the Flail Primitive Method of Winnowing Farm Work 
for the Whole Family Two Oddly Balanced Families Law Suits, 

At this time the Methodist church was supplied at 
the neighboring towns of Moorefield and Freeport, and 
other preaching appointments near by circuit preachers, 
who traveled the round of the circuit once a month. 
There were two preachers on the circuit, which brought 
the preaching times every two weeks. At the villages 
the appointments were fixed for Sundays, and when 
there was a local preacher in the neighborhood the in- 
termediate Sundays would be allotted to him, if he 
chose to preach. In this way preaching was kept up 
every Sunday, most of the time. At Freeport there was 
a Presbyterian, Methodist and Quaker congregation; 
but the Presbyterian preaching was only occasional, as 
they could not raise enough to support a regular min- 
ister. The Quakers held meetings whether there was a 
minister or npt, and the Methodists had about thirty 
preaching places on the circuit, each of which contrib- 
uted something for the support of the two preachers, 
whose salaries were very small, perhaps not over three 
hundred dollars apiece. It was poor pay, and generally 
it was equally " poor preach." 

The very monotony of Country life was an induce- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 153 

ment to go to any gathering of people. Por this reason 
churches are better attended in the country than in 
towns, at all times. I thought nothing then of walking 
five miles to meeting, and returning a mile or two out 
of the way for the sake of company. Though we had 
horses, I, as most young men did, walked in preference. 
It was a freer way of going. Accustomed to the exer- 
cise and active life of the country, a walk of a few miles 
did not tire me, and I could come and go as I liked, 
while a horse would have been a care and burden. I 
could walk about as fast as I would want to ride, and I 
could take advantage of all near cuts and shorter way. 
I was particularly fond of going near ways through the 
woods; and miles from home, I would strike across 
somewhere, and cut of? distance, or explore a new route. 
This I could do on foot, and for the pleasure of doing 
that alone, I would have walked. That country being 
the dividing land at the head of several streams, it was 
full of ridges, the tops of which were pretty free from 
underbrush, and overlooking the valleys, were rather 
pleasant to walk on, especially when the roads were 
muddy. At that time there was not over a fourth of the 
land cleared ; and though there was no great danger of 
missing the way, through the wildness of the forest, it 
required some skill to get and keep a course from one 
distant point to another. This I took great delight in 
doing, and would invariably go through the woods if 
the journey would permit. 

The people of the region were very hospitable, and 
were always ready to welcome any one who would call 
on them or even make them a visit. As is the custom 



154 Recollections of 

in all country districts, whoever called near meal time, 
was expected to eat. The farmers lived simply. They 
were all in about the same social condition, and nearly 
equal as to wealth. Most of them owned the land they 
lived upon and all worked with their own hands, whether 
they hired help or not. The houses and improvements 
depended upon the length of time they had been on the 
place. A man who had just settled was not expected to 
have much of a house, or other buildings. The first 
care was to get up what would do, and this was usually 
a good sized log cabin of round logs, covered with clap- 
boards ; that is, split pieces, four feet long and six inches 
wide, and weighted down on the roof with logs. A 
barn of the same materials was built, as soon as possible, 
for the protection of the crops and animals. Such barns 
as I have told, already, were mostly made by putting up 
two log pens say eighteen feet square, that is, all the 
logs eighteen feet long at a distance of about eighteen 
feet apart; the pens were carried up to about twelve 
feet high, when logs were placed so as to connect the 
two pens under one roof, which would cover a building 
of eighteen by fifty-four feet on the ground. The in- 
tervening space served for the barn, or thrashing-floor, 
and was usually closed, as soon as it could be done, 
with large double doors at front and back. 

The barns were, of course, very open, which, for 
stowing grain, was no inconvenience, since the openings 
afforded ventilation and prevented the grain or hay 
from being mow-burnt. In the intermediate space 
the grain was usually thrashed by hand with a flail, 
until the farm was large enough to make it necessary 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 155 

to use horses to tread it out. It was the custom, 
also, for laboring men to thrash grain for the tenth 
bushel, as their compensation ; and it was pretty hard- 
earned grain at that. Ten bushels of wheat was a hard 
days' thrashing, though rye, barley and oats were easier 
done; and a good hand would knock out twenty to 
twenty -five bushels of oats. 

The flail was a peculiarly made instrument, and 
very hard to get the hang of. It was formed of two 
sticks, one about like a broom-handle, and four feet 
long, the other near three feet long, with a hole in the 
end of it, round, and an inch and a half in diameter. 
The handle was very smooth and made with a button- 
like knob on the end, away from the hand, and a groove 
around it to receive a cord, which was tied around the 
handle so that the handle would turn in it. The thrash- 
ing part, or blade, as they sometimes called it, having a 
hole in the end was tied to the handle by a link of cord. 
This made a loose and changeable joint, which allowed 
the whole length of the blade to strike the grain at 
once. It might be compared to a whip with a club for 
a lash. The handling of it required skill, and to hit 
yourself on the top of the head with it was the easiest 
thing imaginable. 

The lower part of the two ends of the barn were usu- 
ally fitted up for horse and cow stables, and the upper part 
as well as the space over the thrashing-floor was used 
for mowing away hay and grain. When the farms 
were small, this room would suffice. If not the sur- 
plus would be stacked up in the barnyard. The 
thrashing was mostly done in the winter, and, if possi- 



156 Recollections of 

ble, on cold, dry days. In wet weather the grain was 
hard to beat out of the straw. Thrashing was good, 
hearty winter work, and it had to he very cold, indeed, 
if you could not keep warm at it. The winnowing of 
the grain from the chaff was mostly done in a primitive 
manner, for it was only a well-to-do farmer who could 
afford a fanning mill. A very common method of clear- 
ing grain was to rake out all the short straw and lighter 
chaff after thrashing ; then two persons would take a 
sheet, which they doubled into an oblong shape, and 
each standing opposite to the other, they took hold, one 
with the right hand uppermost and the other with the 
left up, and with the other hands they clutched the edge 
of the sheet about two-thirds of the width from the top 
as it hung from the upper hands. They would then give it 
a motion, a little like the blade of an oar in rowing. This 
produced a good blast, before which the grain and chaff 
was shaken down from a coarse sieve, when the chaff 
was blown away, and the clean wheat fell on the floor. 
This winnowing with the sheet was hard work, and if 
there was much to be done, hands were changed ; the 
women of the family would be called on to assist, and if, 
as was often the case, there were two or three lusty girls 
about the house, and big boys, they would soon do up a 
thrashing of grain, and have a jolly time besides. 

Where the country had only been a few years set- 
tled, and where the farms were still being opened up, 
the families were mostly young; that is, the children 
nearly all in their minority, so that the farmer himself 
and one or two big boys made up the laboring strength of 
the farm ; and for an extra lift at any time, the wife or 



Life in Ohio, 1818-1840. 157 

older daughter would be called on to help, and some- 
times they would assist in planting and hoeing the corn,, 
raking the grain or hay in harvest. The rule was, that 
whoever had the strength to work, took hold and helped. 
If the family was mostly girls, they regularly helped 
their father in all the lighter farm work. 

There were two familes living about three miles east 
of us, who curiously balanced each other. A Scotch- 
man had nine sons and one daughter, and next to him 
was a Marylander, who had nine daughters and one son ; 
the daughters nearly all measured six feet. The boy of 
this family was not so stout, and was younger than most 
of his sisters. He was spared at work, and the girls 
regularly worked with their father at almost any of the 
farm work. The Scotch girl got off with very little out- 
door work, but the Maryland girls worked in-doors and 
out, while the boy had a good time of it. Some of the 
young people of these families intermarried, but how 
many of them I do not now remember. 

It was a fault of people in that region that they 
were intolerably fond of lawsuits. The obstinacy of the 
Scotch in them, combined with the Irish irritability, 
seemed to fit them for constant quarrels. The justices 
of the peace and the higher courts were kept busy with 
suits, and the churches always had some case in the secu- 
lar departments. These offered a way of going to law that 
was inexpensive, and on the whole about as satisfactory 
as the courts to the litigants, perhaps more so, as it left 
them to stick to their side of the question. But the 
costs of lawsuits were not so great as they are now, and 
the lawyers charged less; so the luxury of a suit was 



158 JRecollections of 

more within the reach of men of small means. A lead- 
ing cause of lawsuits was slander. There was a great 
disposition talk freely, and some one was sure to think 
he was slandered to the extent of great damages, for 
which he would go to law ; or, he would seek redress in 
the church if the offender happened to belong to a 
church. If he got the offender turned out of the church 
and pretty thoroughly disgraced, he might by mollified ; 
but if the church authorities were not fully convinced, 
and did not punish the accused brother or sister, he was 
as ready for a lawsuit as ever. The trials served to 
break the monotony of the country life, and sometimes 
spiced it to a high degree. 



Life in Ohio, 1818-1840. 159 



CHAPTER XXHL 

Failure of the New Farming Experiment Removal to Wheeling- 
Author's Efforts to learn the Printing Business Schism in the 
Society of Friends A Quaker Fight in Meeting HicMtes and 
Orthodox Sis Cents Fine and Fire Minutes in Prison Employ- 
ment mth Alexander Campbell, Founder of the Sect of the Dis- 
ciplesRural Printing Office The Author Starts a Magazine. 

After the routine of finding out the country and 
getting acquainted with the people, the life we led was 
decidedly monotonous. Few changes occurred in it. 
We went to town that is, to the two villages of Moore- 
field and Freeport went to meetings, and occasionally to 
distant places, though seldom. The farming operations 
were a failure here, because we were not expert farmers, 
and still worked with our rats of horses, that stuck by 
us like any other affliction. The great matter was for 
us 'to be convinced of the failure, and to acknowledge it. 
At last we decided. Father engaged in the business of 
grading wool for buyers, and was employed in "Wheeling, 
Virginia. So we concluded to leave the farm, which 
was improved from what it was when we got it ; but it 
could not be sold at once, and had to be rented. Father 
found a tenant in a smooth-tongued Irishman, who 
agreed to pay a certain rent, and stipulated that he was 
to be allowed for repairs. At the end of the year he 
had us in debt, without paying any rent. Then father 
sold tbe place and wound up the affair. 

When we made up our minds to leave the country. 



160 Recollections of 

father made arrangements to move into Wheeling. By 
the time the farming was wound up and settlements 
made, we were rather poor. The family was large, and 
what was worse, there was no employment secured for 
any but father, and his compensation was not more than 
would suffice to find us in the barest necessaries of life. 
We did the best we could to find something to do that 
would lighten the burden. I had all along wanted to 
learn the printing business, but had found no oppor- 
tunity, till now I was twenty-one years old or nearly so, 
and my age was an impediment. There was a contingent 
opening for a learner in the office of the Virginia States- 
man, a new paper, just begun in Wheeling, which had 
been engaged by a young fellow who was not certain to 
come. I took this place, and set about the work with 
enthusiasm. My natural mechanical gift enabled me to 
take hold of the art very successfully and perform any 
part of it readily and understandingly ; but it required 
time to acquire the necessary speed at setting type. 
I was a little too late in beginning, and I was des- 
tined to disappointment in my work. The young man, 
who was my junior by three years, and thus had an ad- 
vantage, came to take his place after I had begun. This 
made one too many in the office force, and I had to give 
it up within the second month. Thus I was obliged to 
look after another situation, and for a time I had to be 
at home, with nothing to do but the little assistance I 
could render father in handling wool. 

After the struggles of the first year, father did 
pretty well in Wheeling, and when he sold the farm, he 
put the proceeds into a house and lot, which increased 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 161 

in value. There was a large and respectable society of 
Methodists in the town, and by means of these he found 
himself in a congenial atmosphere, and we had many 
pleasant acquaintances outside. The family lived in 
Wheeling till the autumn of 1834, when father bought 
a farm near Ohillicothe, and moved to it. 

Meantime, I was put to it to get a chance at print- 
ing. I had learned to set type slowly and to work at press, 
but after I was superseded at the office of the Virginia 
Statesman, it was sometime before I could find a place, 
and a dreary time it was for me. I went to Mount 
Pleasant, across in Ohio, where we had lived twelve 
years before, and where Elisha Bates, the leader at that 
time of the Orthodox Quakers, had a printing office ; but 
his office was full, and at any rate he was doing little 
more than looking after his controversy with Elias 
Hicks. So this effort to get work failed. I found the 
place in a general ferment the day I was there. The 
Yearly Meeting of the Quakers was in session. The 
sect had not yet divided, and they had endeavored to ig- 
nore the fact that they were composed of two irrecon- 
cilable parties, and go on together, each, however, striv- 
ing for the ascendency. When they came to organize 
the meeting by the election of a Clerk, who is the pre- 
siding officer, and who really controls the proceedings if 
he will, the two factions came into collision, and a strife 
ensued, which, with any body but Quakers, would have 
been a fight. Instead of striking, they gave vent to 
their passions, and sought to conquer by pushing and 
jamming each other as they pressed towards the Clerk's 
table with their respective candidates. In this way 



162 Recollections of 

some of them got pretty badly hurt, and Jonathan Tay- 
lor, the Bates, or Orthodox candidate for Clerk was 
nearly killed by being jammed against and under the 
table. The accident broke up the meeting, and to this 
day it is not known which candidate was chosen: As 
soon as the antagonists got out of doors, it was generally 
conceded that the prevailing frame of mind was not 
what became a " Meeting of Friends." The Orthodox 
party decided that it was a riot from which no one 
particularly dissented and appealed to the civil law, 
complaining against the prominent Hicksites as rioters, 
and sued out warrants for them. The Hicksites and 
their friends pursued the true Quaker policy of keeping 
quiet, and out of the way, when they saw an officer of 
the law in search of them. They knew the officers by 
sight, and fought shy of all the world's people whom 
they did not know. The sheriff of the county had been 
sent for to make the arrests, but he could never get near 
them, till the Orthodox party adopted the strategem of 
putting a shad-bellied coat and broad brimmed hat upon 
him 3 under which deceptive appearance he nabbed five 
or six of the Hicksites, and with them a disreputable 
renegade Quaker, well known then as a manufacturer of 
vegetable toothache drops (the chief ingredient of which 
was muriatic acid), by the name of Thomas White. He 
was made very happy by the arrest, as it saved him many 
dollars in advertising. I think Bates had a purpose in 
the arrest of White, for all knew that he did not take 
part in the riot, beyond shouting " Hurrah for Jack- 
son [" as from that time forward Bates never wrote or 
spoke of the affair without naming two or three of the 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 163 

most respectable Hicksites, and adding, " Thomas "White 
and others." The prisoners were all convicted of riot, 
fined six cents each, and imprisoned for five minutes. 
After this farce, the Society of Friends were two societies. 
There were at that time but few printing offices in 
the country, and they employed but few hands. At- the 
county towns there would be found one or two papers 
for the local business, or the support of party interests. 
They were small affairs, and conducted in a very primi- 
tive manner. The owner was mostly a printer by trade, 
who edited his own sheet, and was the chief workman 
upon it, often doing the half of the work himself. Some- 
times an office that is, a press and a small quantity of 
type would be got together by some one who had a 
mission of some kind, or wanted to enlighten the world 
in literature. There was an abundance of monthly mag- 
azines, and each one of them made about work for one, 
or at most, two men. This was the kind of printing 
office that Elisha Bates had. He had a mission of his 
own and used a periodical to forward it, though the is- 
sue was not regular. At the same time, Alexander 
Campbell, the leader of the " Disciple " sect, was issuing 
a monthly that he called the Christian Baptist, and occa- 
sionally a volume of some kind. He had a handsome 
farm in the valley of Buffalo Creek, a stream that runs 
through Brooke county, in "West Virginia, and empties 
into the Ohio River at Wellsburg. His place was in a 
fertile but hilly region, ten miles from Steubenville, 
eight from Wellsburg and sixteen from Wheeling. In 
this out-of-the-way place he had fitted up a printing 
office, in a little frame box of a house, just sixteen feet 



164 Recollections of 

square. After I had sought for work till discouraged, I 
walked out to Campbell's place to see what the chance 
was there. I found the office on the hank of the creek, 
so near the water's edge that the pressman wet the pa- 
per for presswork by dipping it directly into the stream, 
selecting a big stone to lay the paper board upon and 
another for the dry paper, while he stood half-leg deep 
in the water, which gently played over his bare feet. 

The printing office, as I have said, was a single room, 
about sixteen feet square, unconnected with any other 
building, and it had in it two double composing stands, a 
bank and a hand-press. This made it pretty close quar- 
ters ; and in the latter part of the summer I was there, 
when Mr. Campbell printed his debate with Owen, the 
little office overflowed, and they put up stands for three or 
four printers to set type out of doors under sheds. The 
pressman was a character in his way. He worked 
at press, set type, made verses, led in the Camp- 
bellite meetings, sang hymns and sentimental songs,, 
and wrote letters to the postmasters of numerous vil- 
lages or new towns to inquire if they did not want 
him to start a newspaper in the place, and if there 
was any body so anxious as to advance the ex- 
penses of starting it. On one occasion he wrote to 
Sharon, in Pennsylvania, a place he had no knowledge 
of, but he was impressed with the aptness of Eose of 
Sharon as a title for a paper. Some time after I first 
knew him, on the strength of my acquaintance, he came 
to Wheeling and quartered himself at father's for several 
days, with very little indication of ever going away. 
But one morning father disposed of the matter in a way 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 165 

that did credit to his humor, while it was effective. 
After breakfast he turned to his guest in a nonchalant 
way, saying, " I suppose you will not be here when I 
return, so I wish you good-by/' and shook hands with 
him. He took the hint and left in the course of the 
morning. 

The printing office at Buffalo Creek was in the cor- 
ner of a field, some distance from Campbell's own house, 
but near to one occupied by a tenant, where any tran- 
sient printers boarded. As the tenant was of Mr. 
Campbell's then new church, or brotherhood, and as 
Mr. Young was a good natured and poor man, and Mr. 
Campbell rich and sharp at a trade, these boarding ac- 
counts were a source of great discomfort between them, 
and a good deal of heart-burning, at least on Mr. Young's 
part, whose only relief was found in complaining. What- 
ever opinion the people with whom Mr. Campbell came 
in contact away from home may have had of him, at 
home and among his neighbors he was regarded as 
greatly disposed to lord it over his poor and dependent 
friends. He was pretty hard in dealing, as I found out, 
and had little natural sympathy with those who had not 
or could not acquire a worldly competence. Still his 
manner was amiable, and socially he was always accessi- 
ble to the man who understood the conversational art of 
listening, especially if that man liked to hear Mr. Camp- 
bell talked of. I boarded with Mr. Young while I was 
there. Mr. 0. took the amount of the board out of my 
wages, and Mr. Y. grumbled and said that was always 
the way. 

After many efforts to get a situation in some print- 



Recollections of 

ing office, where I could learn the business more thor- 
oughly, I was induced, by my own vanity and the flat- 
tery of some with whom I was acquainted, to start a 
monthly periodical. It was the favorite way of doing 
then, to set up a monthly sheet, or little magazine of, 
say sixteen pages, to be filled with contributions and se- 
lections. The country was full of them, such as they 
were. Every man who had a mission or hobby, or was 
beset with the idea that he had " a call" to literary work, 
would get together a few printing materials and start a 
monthly. This I did; and it is really wonderful how 
cheaply I set up a printing establishment. After issu- 
ing a prospectus and soliciting subscribers, and appoint- 
ing agents in sundry places, and authorizing all post- 
masters to act as agents, by the autumn of 1828, I was 
ready to issue the first number of "TEE G-LEANEH" "a 
monthly periodical devoted to literature and miscella- 
neous selections price one dollar a year in advance." I 
do not remember, now, how many subscribers I had; but 
the list was very small, while my hopes were large. 
There was no doubt in my mind but I could get along 
with such an enterprise, and I could really have man- 
aged to print it or edit it alone ; but to do both and also 
manage its business so that I could live by it, was more 
than I could do. Yet I did not see this. I pushed on 
and got out the first number sure that the subscriptions 
would pour in, though they did not. I made a tolerably 
fair issue, using up a ream and a half of paper, which 
gave me an excess of copies for future subscribers. It 
was well spoken of and sometimes praised, and received 
many kindly notices from "the press," which, in that 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 167 

day, was not up to the present standard. I had, I may 
safely say, no money, though plenty of confidence, a 
quality that bankers turn into money, but by very differ. 
ent appliances from what I used. Still I succeeded in 
starting this paper better than I should do now, with all 
the experience of fifty years added. I got a hundred 
pounds of new bourgeois, and a home-made press, a 
part of which I constructed. ' It was a clumsy affair, 
after the style of hand-presses of that day, and made 
largely of wood. The cases and stands I made myself, 
as also I did a composing stick of iron, and it was not a 
very bad one. It was before composition rollers were in- 
troduced in that part of the country, and I followed the 
old fashion of making balls of buckskin, stuffed with 
wool, wherewith to ink the type. As I had but a small 
font of type, I had to work the forms half-sheet wise, or 
eight pages at a time. I set the type, and when I had a 
Ibrm up, I worked it off and distributed it. I worked 
away in this manner till the year was nearly out, when 
I gave up the idea of keeping it going. Still I had 
hope, and felt that success would come ; arid though this 
was manifestly a failure, I thought if I had a larger 
sheet and took more of the general features of a news- 
paper into my plan, it would prove a triumph finally. 

The " G-leaner" was intended as a kind of ladies' 
paper, and I thought the young people who had a taste 
for writing would support and contribute to it, in the 
way of essays, verses and the like. My sister Anne 
joined me in so far as to have her name appear as the 
editor ; but though she felt anxious for me to succeed, 
she had no real interest in it of her own. Indeed I 



168 Recollections of 

should not have trusted myself to undertake it, if I had 
been a proper judge of my own abilities. At all events, 
the " Gleaner" went the way of gleaners, into the .ob- 
scurity of the poor, and its memory excites but little 
pride in me. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 169 



CHAPTEE XXIV. 

Starting a Weekly Paper Difficulties of the Author's Position 
Eclectic Observer A Visionary and his Book The Author's 
Marriage Removal to St. Clairsville Early Married Life The 
Whig Party Founded The Author's Employer. 

Having got started in publishing, and having 
nothing else that I could turn to, I was the more easily 
tempted to try a weekly issue. At this time I was beset 
with the idea that the world was on the eve of some 
great social, political and civil revolution, in which the 
"ills that flesh is heir to " were to be all cured; and as I 
was not attached to any political party, and belonged to 
no church, I was pretty well prepared to launch forth in 
a radical as well as independent journal. I was encour- 
aged by a few who were making war upon certain forms 
of sectarianism in the church, and by all who were dis- 
satisfied with politics and the world in general. There 
was then in Wheeling quite a number of admirers of 
Eobert Owen's system of social economy, and his com- 
munity at New Harmony, in Indiana. These were very 
free to encourage me with an abundance of fair words, 
but very few dollars. 

I had but poor support for my enterprise when I 
began, and I ought not to have undertaken if; but my 
constant tempter, Hope, led me on to risk the chance of 
better support as I progressed. But it did not come. I 
committed the grave mistake of addressing my efforts to 



170 Recollections of 

the promotion of negative interests. Since I was of no 
church and no party, of course I failed to enlist any one 
warmly in my behalf, beyond those who temporarily 
wanted some interest attacked, and my fate was that of 
the bat in the fable, who was not accepted by birds or 

beasts. 

I had a consciousness of meaning well ; I had grit 
and strong hope ; and I pushed ahead. Accordingly I 
got some more type, enlarged my plan and commenced a 
weekly issue of a sheet known then as super-royal size, 
twenty-two by twenty-eight inches square, which I called 
the " Eclectic Observer." The paper was well received and 
well spoken of, but it lacked the " sinews of war." I kept 
it going six months with great effort. I worked hard 
and spent no money foolishly, not even so foolishly as to 
buy clothes. I really went shabbily dressed and denied 
myself comforts of every kind. At the end of six 
months I suspended the paper temporarily, as I an- 
nounced, but in fact, forever. 

I next used my printing materials on behalf of a vis- 
ionary old gentleman, of the name of William Matthers, 
who had taken it into his head that he bad a mission to 
write a book, which was to cure the disorders of the world. 
He was a Presbyterian in his religious training, but what 
Ms exact belief was, I do n't think he knew. He was from 
the north of Ireland, but had been brought up in Balti- 
more. He had settled in Ohio just before the state was 
organized, but was of a restless turn, and traveled a great 
deal over the then new territory of Louisiana and Illinois. 
He was familiar with the prominent actors in the Burr 
conspiracy and their movements, as well as the transac- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 1T1 

tions in the transfer of Louisiana to the United States, 
and familiar with the leading men of the new states. He 
was altogether a most interesting man to talk with when 
he made his experiences his subject. On other subjects 
he was visionary and uncertain. He was ultra demo- 
cratic in his views, and ascribed all the woes men suf- 
fered to aristocracy, which he rather regarded as the 
antichrist that was to unite with the Pope in getting the 
world ready for the general 'break-up before the millen- 
nium. His notions of society were communistic, and he 
was very severe on corporations and banks. I thought 
that he had money enough to pay for printing his book, 
which I found to be a mistake when he got it done. He 
called his book " The Rise, Progress and Downfall of 
Aristocracy. 5 ' It was a queer compound of politics and 
theology in which things were mixed up in a most Quix- 
otic manner. Of his book he was sanguine beyond 
measure , and was sure people would go mad after it and 
make him rich at once. I found that, comp red with 
him in his hopefulness, I had the coldest of common 
sense. With his book closed my printing business in 
Wheeling. 

I began the publication of the "Gleaner" in De- 
cember, 1828, and in December, 1829, 1 began the issue 
of the " Eclectic Observer," which was suspended in June, 
1830. I did a little work in various ways ? till Mr. 
Matthers got ready with his book, late that fall. In Jan- 
uary, 1881, I became acquainted with MART DEAST, " a 
young woman of the same worldly expectations as my- 
self. But I loved her for the qualities that belonged to 
her, and that I felt were valuable, and she returned my 



172 Recollections of 

sentiment. The prospect for oar getting married was 
not encouraging, but we thought that the printing of the 
book would put me in a position to warrant it, and we 
fixed on the time of its publication when Mr. Matthers was 
to be in funds. "We were, accordingly, married on the 
tenth of July, in the year 1831. The book was got out in 
a few days after, and put upon the market. It brought in 
nothing, and Matthers failed directly after, leaving me 
" sans everything." "We had then to make the best 
of it. " The world was all before us," for we were em- 
phatically a long way behind. I had to look about for 
a situation, which I found soon after in the form of a 
foremanship in the printing office of the " National His- 
torian," the paper now succeeded by the " Belmont Chron- 
icle," at St. Clairsyille, Ohio. The wages I was to receive 
for this service were ridiculously small, being less than 
$300 a'year. I ought to have had more, but I despaired 
of getting it, for printers then thought a dollar a day 
excellent pay. Of course, we had to make a small be- 
ginning. There were but two of us ; and in that day 
and time people, who were quite respectable, put 
up with little furniture and little room. We took a 
single room on the second floor of what had once been 
a hotel. All was clean and tidy, and the room, when 
" set to rights," looked about as well as if it had been a 
room in a hotel where we might have been boarding. 
As I look back to it now, I see the sun shining there, 
while the clouds for there were some clouds are all 
gone. But that was a little world of ours that only re- 
mains a tender memory. 

We went to St. Clairsville to live, on the first of 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 178 

August, 1831, when, we had been married but a few 
weeks. "We were strangers here, and lived pretty 
much to ourselves. In the summer evenings and on 
Sundays, we took long walks in the country round, en- 
joyed the fine prospects from the hilltops, or the shade 
of the forests, and altogether made the most of the lim- 
ited sphere that we filled. As I was only a workman, I 
had no mental labor to perform in my calling, and 
therefore found recreation in reading or writing mostly 
in reading aloud some book that was new to both of us, 
or something that I wished to enjoy over again with her 
as a listener. The time went by delightfully in our own 
little nest, and we regarded very little what was of the 
outside. We made some acquaintances among quiet 
people, but few intimate friends. Particularly this was 
the ease with myself. 1 was poor and proud and timid, 
and such a man is not apt to make friends. In the 
printing ofB.ce I knew those who came with articles to 
be published, or to read the exchanges. 

Of the politics of that county I knew but little then. 
I had come in from another state, and only knew the 
general divisions into Jackson or anti- Jackson men, the 
former being much the same as the Democrats of the 
present time. Locally this division was not so close, as 
in the fall of 1831, there were seven or eight candidates 
for the legislature, of whom three were to be elected. 
The choice was made from the anti-Jackson men. At 
that time the Whig party was not organized, nor till 
about three years later. In the summer of 1834, the 
ISTew York " Courier and Enquirer/' under the manage- 
ment of James Watson Webb, called the anti-Jackson, 



174 Recollections of 

men the Whig party. The term was immediately ac- 
cepted, and continued to designate that party till it 
died at a respectable age, from the force of circum- 
stances, and an unhappy effort to wear a doe-face, in 
1854, just twenty years later. 

My engagement in St. Clairsville was for one year, 
and only amounted to employment and bread. "When 
that time was out, I was not inclined to renew it, and 
my employer, who had bought the paper on a specula- 
tion, and was a medical man, who knew nothing about 
printing, was exacting and hard to satisfy. He had 
some other plans in view, and did not propose to con- 
tinue the engagement really, I suppose, because he 
could get the work done at less cost by boys. He was a 
Scotchman; a man of education and a good scholar, 
practical, with a turn for mechanics, and could do almost 
any thing in that way ; and,, indeed, there was hardly 
any thing that he would not undertake. He was an 
avowed materialist, and took especial pleasure in ridi- 
culing all religious ideas, and he was looked upon by 
the community generally as a terrible fellow. He was 
a man of taste and extensive reading, and really talented, 
but extremely lazy and very selfish. He had considera- 
ble wealth, which he lived upon when he was not mak- 
ing more. The last I knew of him, he was living at 
Bridgeport, opposite Wheeling, where he put in his time 
with a little job-printing office, doing any work that 
came to hand, and letting the world take care of itself. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 175 



CHAPTER XXV. 

A Local Poet Removal to Mount Pleasant Working for Elisha 
Bates, Orthodox Quaker A Character Cholera Geographical 
Limits of a Pledge Removal to Chilllcothe Journey Thither 
Buckeye Festival. 

The year was without any event in our little life. I 
I got temporary employment with Horton J. Howard, 
who started the "National Historian/' and was then car- 
rying on a small printing office, and printing any books 
he could get to do. At that time he was printing an 
epic poem, called the " Napoleon," after the style of the 
Eneiad, being the story of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the 
ponderous blank verse of the heroic pattern of Milton. 
The author was Thomas H. Genin, a very eccentric law- 
yer of St. Clairsville, who had money enough to spare 
in printing a book that was never to be sold. This 
Genin was an uncle to the hatter Genin, of New York, 
who made himself famous by buying the first ticket to 
Jenny Lind's concert, at $500. Though T. H. Genin 
had two very promising sons, he outlived them, and his 
property was willed to the nephew, who discharged the 
obligation by printing the memoirs and posthumous 
papers of his uncle, and erecting a life-size statute of 
him in marble, which is the chief ornament of the cem- 
etery of St. Clairsville, at this time. 

I continued to work for Howard, mostly at press, on 
an old Eamage machine, and by working very hard, I 



176 Recollections of 

could make one dollar a day. The price was twelve and 
a half cents a token, and Howard furnished a boy to roll 
and wet paper, etc. It was not very steady work at 
that, and not likely to last long after the book was done. 
I made a prospective engagement to work for Elisha 
Bates about this time, and arranged to begin in Sep- 
tember. 

Towards the latter part of the month we moved to 
Mount Pleasant, in Jefferson county, where father had 
lived just sixteen years before. Here I went to work 
for Elisha Bates, on his monthly periodical, which he 
called the " Repository." This was about steady work for 
one man, and would have kept me very closely, but 
there was another printer engaged on it who did a good 
deal of the work, and might have done it all, except that 
there was some extra printing to be done for the Friends' 
Yearly Meeting, under the direction of Bates. The work 
was expected to keep us going, but Bates was traveling a 
good deal, and the " Repository" was reduced to occasional 
issues. My fellow-workman, whose name was William 

McQ , was much my senior, and was a terrible 

drinker ; that is, he would drink whenever he could get 
whiskey, and would resort to the usual expedients to 
get it. He was always ready, as one of a convivial party, 
with songs, stories and jokes. He sang remarkably well, 
and knew all of the popular songs of the times, which it 
was then customary to sing ballad- fashion, without ac- 
companiments. He would go straight through More's 
Melodies, and any of the collections of the songs of 
Campbell, Burns, Tannyhill, Dibden and the like, always 
including the Star Spangled Banner, Hail Columbia* 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 177 

The American Tar, the Pillar of Glory, and the patriotic 
songs that sprung up with the War of 1812. He was 
also a Free Mason, and invariably drew upon the breth- 
ren, wherever he went, for good cheer and relief from 
his personal necessities, which were usually pressing. 
He was so free hearted and generous in his manner that 
every body put up with his many weaknesses, and if he 
was at all sober he was generally respected, and tolerated 
even when half drunk. If any body was sick he was 
ready to nurse them ; and no matter how disagreeable 
the task might be, he was faithful to it ; and when death 
came he was as ready, and seemed to take a pleasure in 
doing the last services for the dead. On such occasions 
he would do any thing that was to be done, and would 
put on a shroud or dig a grave, give notice of the funeral 
and take a hand at the bier. With it all he was cheer- 
ful and lent some of his brightness to all about him. Of 
course he was acquainted with every family in the vil- 
lage, and made himself at home at every house, where 
he would enter at any time without ceremony and often 
without knocking. Of his poverty he made no conceal- 
ment, and if he was in want of something to eat at home 
he would ask for it, saying that it was a duty for us to 
help one another, which he was ready to perform when 
he could. He was never humiliated by a gift of any 
thing he could eat, drink or wear; and as there was 
hardly a family for whom he had not done some neigh- 
borly service, his supplies in this way were pretty good. 
The consequence was that he did very little steady work, 
and was in the printing office only occasionally, He was 



178 Recollections of 

away on a spree, or looking after some body who'was 
sick or had died, three-fourths of the time. 

It happened that cholera appeared in the country in 
1832, while I was engaged here, and this seemed just to 

su it McG . There was a Quaker family in Mount 

Pleasant, of the name of Planner, one of whom was a 
Dr. Manner of Zanesville, who was looked upon as a 
leader in his profession. He was deputed by the medi- 
cal men of Zanesville to go to Wheeling, where the 
cholera was raging and see it, and otherwise prepare 
himself to treat it when it should appear in their town. 
The doctor performed his mission, and on his way back 
came to Mount Pleasant to visit his friends, and particu- 
larly three unmarried sisters, who lived by themselves and 
with whom he made his home. He arrived in the afternoon, 
and received several calls and made some, expecting to 
go on speedily. The next morning the whole village 
(then of perhaps six hundred or eight hundred) was ter- 
ror-stricken to find Dr. Planner attacked with cholera. 
The fact fell upon them with all the horrors of a pesti- 
lence. Doors were closed and men walked in silence 
along the streets, except as they went solemnly to ex- 
change information or conjectures as to the case in hand. 
It seems as if I could see them now ; and how still and 
weird the day was. It was near the end of June. To 
the inquiry, " "Who is taking care of the Doctor ?" the 

ready answer was : " Oh, McG is with him and has 

been, all night." In fact, the sisters, McG and the 

physicians of the place were all that saw him till he died, 
which was in about twenty-four hours after the attack. 
This was a triumphant time for Mac. He was the hero 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 179 

of the day, and was referred to as a man who could do 
more than others dared. He got all the whiskey he 
wanted free, and that without reproof for drinking it. 
One of the sisters was attacked with the disease, and 
Mac. had to remain as nurse. 

A year or two before I went to St. Clairsville, Mac. 
subsisted on newspaper prospectuses. His plan was to 
print a prospectus, and circulate it for subscriptions, 
taking all the pay he could get in advance, and in the 
country farmers did n't mind giving him some kind of 
produce on this account. If they knew him they un- 
derstood it, and if they did not know him, they fancied 
they would get a paper some time which they did not. 
But he was not alone in the use of this expedient. The 
times were favorable to it, as they would not be now. 
Poor Mac ! He has got through it all. The last time I 
saw him was in 1838, when he came to Martinville and 
called on me. He said he had taken the pledge, but ex- 
plained the condition he was in by saying he was " out 
of the township." 

The work at Mount Pleasant grew more and more 
slack till the fall of 1833. Elisha Bates went to Eng- 
land, on some kind of a mission, and closed or suspended 
his publication, which was never revived. Having 
nothing to do, we moved to Wheeling, where both our 
families lived. I got a situation as pressman in a print- 
ing establishment, where I worked on " "Webster's Spel- 
ling Book " stereotype plates. The press had a rolling 
attachment, so that I worked the press alone, making 
$1.50 a day ; but it was hard labor, and after the winter's 
work, I found that it was too hard for me, and I had to 



180 Recollections of 

give it up. At that time, my brother Thomas was liv- 
ing in Chillicothe. He here made an engagement for 
me, with Dr. B. 0. Carpenter, who had just bought the 
" Scioto Gazette/' one of the oldest papers in the state ; 
but it was only a weekly and a small sheet. Still it was 
an important paper, and exerted a good deal of influ- 
ence in the politics of the state. About the first of 
April we moved to Ohillicothe. To get there we took 
steamboat at Wheeling to Portsmouth, and thence canal 
boat to Chillicothe. The distance is three hundred 
and fifty miles by river, and fifty by canal. The jour- 
ney was a very interesting one to us (because it was 
new and in a new country) particularly on the canal ? 
where we had the boat nearly all to ourselves, and 
spent twenty-four hours in making the fifty miles ; we 
thought this a speedy mode of travel. WQ left Wheel- 
ing one evening about the last of March, when the 
spring had scarcely appeared, and no blossom had put 
forth. The next morning, when we woke up, a little 
below Marietta, the peach trees were in full bloom and 
vegetation forward in proportion. It was like dropping 
into fairy-land. But as we returned northward by the 
canal, the spring disappeared, and at Chillicothe the 
blossoms were yet to come. Yet it was an early spring,, 
and that year, as I remember, the buckeye trees were in 
full bloom on the seventh of April. 

About that time Dr. Drake, of Cincinnati, had 
worked up a sort of Ohio furore, by publishing a sketch 
of Ohio history and the settlement of the state. He 
took pains to weave into this a description of the buck- 
eye, which is a wM horse-chestnut, and indigenous to 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 181 

Ohio, and present it as the emblematic tree of the state, 
and to fix upon the state the term Buckeye, as a pet name. 
Several celebrations of the anniversary of the settle- 
ment of the state, on the seventh of April, took place 
that year, few of which were repeated. This was done 
at Chillicothe in quite a romantic fashion. They had, 
of course, an address and toasts and resolutions, and a 
procession, with a ball at night. They planted a buck- 
eye tree in a public square, to which the procession 
marched, each man bearing a branch of the buckeye, 
which was then in full leaf and bloom, where they ob- 
served further ceremonies, and surrounding the tree 
dispersed to meet at the ball and supper. The report of 
all this was given at length in the " Buckeye," a paper 
started on the idea of an Ohio nationality, by William 
Carey Jones, who was then not twenty years old, though 
unusually precocious. He afterward became noted as 
the son-in-law of Thomas H. Benton, and as an advent- 
urer in the West. 



182 Recollections of 



CHAPTEE 5XVI. 

The Scioto Gazette and Its Editor A Gifted Man Universal Genius 
The Political Situation The Author Favors Wm. Henry Har- 
rison for President Election of 1836 The Thurmans at Chilli- 
cothe. 

When we had got settled. Dr. Carpenter took pos- 
session of the "Scioto Gazette/' and I went to work. 
He had bought the paper, but he knew nothing of the 
business. He was a good writer, however, a nervous 
and energetic speaker, and a strong anti-Jackson poli- 
tician. He was expected to give an impetus to this side 
in politics, and the politicians, I think, looked for too 
much from him. Though a capital talker he had not 
the faculty of saying things so well on paper as by word 
of mouth. Then, he was wanting in industry and appli- 
cation. Knowing nothing of newspaper work, he was 
not a good editor, though he could produce good and 
strong leaders. The general management of the paper 
fell largely to me, and as our printing force was not 
strong it made pretty hard work. What added to our 
difficulty was a want of type. We had about two pages 
of advertisements that stood most of the time, and 
about two pages to set up each week ; but we were com- 
pelled to distribute the first form to set up the second. 
This cramped the work and gave us no scope as to time. 
With our poor outfit we went through the year, at the 
close of which the Doctor sold out, thoroughly satisfied 
that the newspaper business was not his mission. 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 183 

Dr. Carpenter was altogether a character. He was 
a man of great natural ability in a certain way. He had 
a command of language that was wonderful, and he 
could put words together so as to give them double 
power of expression. His memory was equal to this 
power of talking and the disposition to make use of both 
quite as strong. Altogether he was a marvel in his way, 
and he would have been an extraordinary man but for 
the want of good common sense. His self-confidence 
was grand, but it moderated with a turn for self-criti- 
cism. His forte was in conversation, where he was al- 
ways brilliant and witty. As a Methodist preacher he 
would have been unrivaled, but he was spoiled for that by 
being one of the most ardent and enthusiastic of Sweden- 
borgians. The doctrines of this faith he preached in sea- 
son and out of season, and if a man would listen to him, 
the doctor was pretty sure to convert him to his view of 
the subject. I am myself indebted to him for an appre- 
hension of the doctrines. I had been acquainted with 
Swedenborgians for many years, and held them in high 
respect ; but it was for the doctor to make me under- 
stand them. He had the courage to assert what he 
believed as though he did believe it, and not in the 
apologetic way that is much too common. He was free 
from cant, and talked of spiritual matters as he would 
of philosophy, which, in his free and easy manner, led 
him to disregard the fitness of times and occasions, and 
often exposed him to ridicule in his absence ; for none 
that knew him would attempt it in his presence. 

My relations to the doctor were rather agreeable 
through this year, and I dare say, if the business had 



184 Recollections of 

been good, my place would have been enjoyable; but lie 
was always hard put to it, and I necessarily felt more or 
less of Ms embarrassments. The universality of Ms 
genius stood in the way of comfort. At times he 
wanted to direct the work. of printing, and would want 
me to be responsible for his blunders. But he would 
listen to reason, and so we got along. In politics he was 
very decided, and indeed ultra, and anti-Jackson, of 
course. In the summer of 1834, the middle of Jackson's 
second term, the opposition party, which was sometimes 
called the National Eepublican, was little else than .a 
loose association of all who were opposed to Jackson. 
In Ohio it was so loose that the electoral vote? of 1832 
in opposition to General Jackson was known as the 
Unpledged, with the understanding that the vote might 
be cast for Clay, "Webster, "Wirt, or any body but Jack- 
son. Though Jackson's electors were chosen, those who 
voted against him were crystalizing into a party, whose 
leading features of politics were the protection of manu- 
facturers and a United States bank. Henry Clay was a 
very well recognized leader in this party, but he had 
rivals, among whom was Webster ; and the election of 
1832 had shown that Olay could not expect to be placed 
at the head of the next presidential ticket, and there 
seemed to be a tacit understanding that in 1836 the op- 
position would run different men, without united action, 
as if to try the ground for 1840, by which time it was 
expected that something could be done to defeat the 
Democrats, who would then be running Van Buren for 
a second term. 

The subject was often talked over by the doctor and 



Life in Ohio, 1813-18*10. 185 

myself, and the local politicians usually discussed it when 
they dropped into the office, as was their custom. Vari- 
ous men were spoken of, but Clay was more commonly 
regarded as the man for Ohio to present in 1836, in 
training, so to speak, for 1840. Once or twice General 
William Henry Harrison was mentioned, but no one 
seemed to favor his pretensions or to suppose he had 
any. In thinking it over, I was impressed with the be- 
lief that General Harrison possessed the elements of 
character eminently favorable to his being named for the 
place. There was a tendency with the anti-Jackson 
people to regard with favor a successful military man, 
and though it was not so strong as to amount to the hero 
worship that lifted Jackson to his place, the politicians 
were ready to avail themselves of the sentiment. Harri- 
son had made a good record in the War of 1812, then only 
twenty years past, and still fresh in the minds of the 
people ; and withal he was an unpretending man, whose 
modesty and simplicity of character, if once brought to 
view, would give him great strength with the masses, 
whose sympathy could be readily enlisted for him. He 
was then living on a farm near Cincinnati, and was dis- 
charging the duties of clerk of the court of Hamilton 
county. 

I suggested him, one day, to General James T. 
Worthington, a man whose opinion I valued. His re- 
ply was : " O, that cock won't fight !" and then gave his 
reasons for not thinking favorably of him, growing less 
positive as he went on. He did not shake my confidence 
in the idea, and I talked it up to the Doctor. He heard 
me through, and then roared out in his peculiar way : 



186 Recollections of 

"Hurrah for Harrison ! There's euphony in that; and 
you must have euphony in any popular cry. The very 
fact that the name ends in on, is of great importance. 
The popular men have had such names. There was 
"Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson, Why 
not Harrison? It is just the right name." We talked 
the matter over and I found he agreed with me. I 
urged him to make a declaration for Harrison, as the 
candidate in 1836, and proposed that he write a leader 
on the subject, and make the announcement at once. 
This he concluded to do, and accordingly, I set up, in 
conspicuous lines "For President, in 1836, General 
"William Henry Harrison/' and the next issue of the 
" Scioto Gazette" was committed to Harrison. 

Of course, this attracted attention, and the papers all 
over the country remarked upon it one way or another ; 
and, as I expected, the anti-Jackson editors did not 
venture to offer any strong opposition, though they 
might not indorse it. The subject was soon agitated, 
and a mass meeting was called in Cincinnati, to promote 
Harrison's nomination. The call for this meeting was 
signed by many hundreds, professedly without distinc- 
tion of party, though few Jackson men signed it. A new 
paper was started in Cincinnati, the next winter, de- 
voted to his interest, which was conducted by Colonel 
James Allen, a man of ability but of erratic habits. 
The measure however, prospered, and General Harrison 
was made a Whig candidate, in 1836, and got the elec- 
toral votes of Vermont, 7 ; ISTew Jersey, 8 ; Delaware, 3 ; 
Maryland, 10; Kentucky, 15; Ohio, 21, and Indiana 9, 
in all 73 ; when Webster got 14, White 26, and Mangum 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 187 

11. This placed Mm in such, a position that the party 
did not venture to nominate any other candidate, in 1840. 

When I went to Chillicothe, Governor "William Al- 
len was the representative in congress, and a candidate 
for re-election. The opposition put in nomination "Wm. 
Key Bond, a lawyer of excellent standing, and a man of 
fine education, who had handsomely represented the 
district in Congress. They made a desperate effort, and 
succeeded in defeating Allen by a small vote. Allen was 
first elected to Congress in 1832, by one vote over Gov- 
ernor McArthur, whose daughter he afterward married. 
Allen Thurman was, at that time, a student at law. 
His father, Pleasant Thurman, was a local Methodist 
preacher, who was also crier of the court and auctioneer; 
his wife was a sister of Governor Allen, and his senior. 
Mrs. Thurman was a woman of great family pride as 
well as ability, but she was eminently practical, and 
though very poor, for her social position, she managed 
to bring up the Senator, her son, and the Senator and 
Governor, her brother, to the distinction they have en- 
joyed. She, being a Swedenborgian, was a friend of 
Dr. Carpenter, at whose house I frequently met her, and 
found her an agreeable and interesting acquaintance. 
From her character I can understand the success of her 
brother and son. 

At that time Chillicothe was a place of more po- 
litical consequence in the state than now. It had been 
the capital within a short period, and the importance 
then attached to it had not quite departed. Since that 
it has had to depend upon trade, and has gradually 
changed its relation to other parts of the state. 



188 Eecollections of 



CHAPTEE 

Farming Again Studying Medicine Public Executions Slavehold- 
ers' Panic in Wheeling Broken Health Building a House 
The Painter's Trade Tried Financial State of the Country-- 
Traveling by Carriage to Dayton The Author buys the Ham- 
ilton Intelligencer Position of Political Parties The Slavery 
Question. 

When Dr. Carpenter sold the "Gazette," I was out 
of a job, and as nothing offered in the way of printing, I 
tried farming. The fall before, that is, 1834, father sold 
his house and lot in Wheeling, and arranged to go on to 
a farm, in obedience to the long accepted destiny of the 
family. I learned of a farm, in Huntington township, 
in Ross county, about six miles from the town of Chilli- 
oothe, that was for sale on very reasonable terms, of 
which I notified father, when he came on and bought it. 

It was very good land, but badly shaped, being 
hilly and cut up with two little streams. It was situ- 
ated at the head of a very pretty little valley, and was 
altogether a pleasant site, if properly improved. Father 
proposed that I should join him in the enterprise, to be- 
gin when my engagement with the doctor closed. Ac- 
cordingly we moved out to the farm in the spring of 
1835. Some three years later father sold out and quitted 
the farm and farming finally. He went to Hamilton 
where he bought a drug store (my brother Joseph hav- 
ing studied medicine led to this business) in which he 
did pretty well. I had dabbled a little in the study of 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 189 

medicine, at odd times, and thought to adopt that pro- 
fession. I decided, therefore, I would try and acquire 
such a knowledge of the science as would enable me to 
practice. I had a little money very little which I 
planned to eke out by working at typesetting. I got 
started in this enterprise and worked away, and studied 
for a while, busily, when I was taken sick, and could do 
nothing but lie in bed. It was then near the end of De- 
cember. 

Early in March I had got so much better that I 
concluded I would follow up the study of medicine. 
The course of lectures of the college had closed, and my 
finances required that I should go to work, which I did 
in a printing office not connected with any paper, where 
I had worked in the early part of the winter, in setting 
up the type of a murderer's confession. 

This murderer, whose name was John Cowan, had 
lived in Pittsburg, where he married. He drank whis- 
key and ill-treated his wife. One morning he took a 
hand-ax and killed her and two or three of their chil- 
dren. For this, of course, he was tried, convicted and 
duly hanged. Hanging was then one of the public 
amusements that the law furnished to the depraved un- 
der the fiction of a great moral lesson. I was opposed 
to capital punishment, and particularly to public execu- 
tions. By way of studying their effect, I attended this,, 
which only confirmed me in my opinion. The respecta- 
ble appearance of those who made up the eight or ten 
thousand who came from all parts of the country to see 
it showed that morbid curiosity was mostly the ruling: 
sentiment in relation to it. 



190 Recollections of 

The next summer, while we were living again in 
Wheeling, two young men were hung for the murder of 
an old man for his money. Their names were Boone 
Long and Tom Wintringer, a hoy I had known in Steu- 
benville. The executions were public and attended by 
thousands. Wheeling was then controlled by Virginia 
laws and influence, though the people were in sentiment 
more like those of Ohio. There were very few slaves, 
not, perhaps, over fifty in the city; but the few old slave- 
holding families exerted a great control over the place, 
and they affected the manner and prejudices of the slave- 
holding part of the state, and pretended to think the 
people of Ohio were inimical to them; they seemed 
to think that the Ohioans were ready at any time to 
stimulate a revolt among their handful of negroes, whom 
they dared not treat as the slaves usually were treated. 
But this was an occasion for the masters to scare them- 
selves, and within the town they got up a rumor as base- 
less as could be, that the people of Steubenville, who 
were heartily glad to be rid of Wintringer, were going 
to rise en masse and rescue Mm. On the strength of this 
they called out the citizens at large to patrol the country 
two or three nights and days before the execution, and 
two military companies were called out besides. I think 
I never was more exasperated than when called on to do 
duty on this patrol, which I promptly refused to do. 
Though threatened with consequences, I never was vis- 
ited with any. The executions came ofF, the city was 
filled with people, and the taverns and grog-shops gath- 
ered their harvest. 

- But to return. My health continued feeble, and I felt 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840, 191 

very sure that I should be taken down with consump- 
tion, the complaint which of all others I dreaded. The 
printing business, I thought, would bring it on, though I 
think differently now ; and I was in despair as to what 
was best to do. My father-in-law had bought a lot and 
was building a house at Martinville, and he proposed 
that I should get a lot there, which was to be done on 
pretty easy terms; and as I had a turn for painting, 
it seemed to me a good plan to take up house paint- 
ing as a kind of work that would give me out-door 
work and an active, healthful life. I returned from 
Cincinnati to "Wheeling in pursuit of this plan, and 
joined him in the project of getting a lot. In the mean- 
time I got some jobs at painting, and arranged to stay 
that summer in Wheeling. In the course of the summer 
of 1836 I bought a lot and got ready to build a little 
brick house ; that is to say, the walls, floor and roof, in 
which shape it was habitable, and we went into it in 
November. It was a rough dwelling, but it was a shel- 
ter, and we improved it by degrees till it was plastered, 
papered and painted, and was a very neat little cottage 
in its way. It had two rooms, with a passage between 
them, and a lean-to kitchen. Here we lived till the 
spring of 1840, and on the whole I got along tolerably 
well. But the commercial reverses in 1838 prostrated 
all business of the kind that I was engaged in. Build- 
ing ceased, and I found work falling, oft*, and was led to 
look for something else. 

The years 1836 and 1837 were remarkable for the 
great abundance of money and the reckless speculations 
in trade and preposterous prices of every thing bought 



192 Recollections of 

or sold. I said, the abundance of money ; "but, unfortu- 
nately., it was unsound money. Banks had been estab- 
lished in utter recklessness and disregard of the basis of 
the notes they issued. Loans were easily obtained, and 
every man of enterprise borrowed money to speculate in 
real estate or invest in stocks or merchandise or manu- 
factures. Towns were laid out and great cities founded 
on paper in every conceivable locality, till the markets 
were filled with all kinds of fictitious values. The con- 
sequence was that the banks soon lent more currency 
than they could keep afloat, and in due time had to sus- 
pend specie payments. All varieties of failure naturally 
followed, and in less than one month specie as currency 
disappeared, the banks refused accommodations, and not 
even their poor paper money could be had. Such as did 
circulate was of the worst quality, and all change was 
made with due bills for goods or orders of individuals to 
pay a note for a few cents (when the amount of five dol- 
lars was presented), in current bank notes, which were 
only good as against the party that issued them. In 
this condition df things there was no more to be done 
than make a living, and even that was hard. I had in- 
curred debts in building our house and paying for the 
lot. So, when building came to a stand-still, I had next 
to nothing to do. In the fall of 1839 a younger brother, 
who had worked with me at painting in Martinville, 
went to join my father's family in Hamilton, where there 
was more prosperity in trade. There he got a good 
many jobs at painting, in which he was doing well till 
overtaken by the ague. He then wrote to me to join 
him, and at least help him through with what he had 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 19S 

engaged to do. Just then a brother of my mother-in-law 
and one of his neighbor farmers, of Pennsylvania, came 
along, on their way westward, to see the State of Ohio, 
of which they had heard much, and to explore the wilds 
of the Miami Valley, their objective point being Dayton.. 
They had traveled from Carlisle, in Pennsylvania, and 
were going on in a two-horse carriage. This was an op- 
portunity for me to go to Hamilton, as they offered me a 
seat with them, and I accepted. "We started on a beau- 
tiful October morning and drove through the state, oc- 
cupying nearly five days in the trip. We went directly 
to Zanesville; then to Lancaster, to "Washington Court 
House, in Fayette county, and to Xenia and Dayton. At 
that season the roads were as good as they could be and 
the weather fine. The journey was altogether one of the 
most delightful I ever made. Much of the country was 
new to me, and to them it was altogether new, and in 
such strong contrast with their own state that it was like 
a voyage of discovery. We reached Dayton about noon, 
which gave us time to look round at the place, then an 
important town, before I left by canal boat for Hamilton,, 
and they started on their return. 

That night took me through to Hamilton, the boat 
landing there at daylight. I staid there some seven or 
eight weeks, and was offered the Intelligencer newspaper 
establishment on easy terms. It was on the eve of the 
great presidential election of 1840. I was urged to take 
hold of the paper in view of Harrison's becoming the 
candidate of the Whigs, and I made a conditional bargain,, 
to be closed when I should get home. I finally bought 
the office on credit, but was a long time in paying for it. 



194 Recollections of 

One mistake was in not selling our house in Martin ville 
and using the proceeds in payment on the office, instead 
of holding on to it till it ran down in value, and we 
were finally glad to let it go for a song. Had I sold that 
house and lot, I could have got along easier in Hamilton. 
But that is far past. 

In less than a week after our arrival, we had got 
into shape in Hamilton, and I soon after issued my first 
copy of the Intelligencer. The campaign opened very 
early that year, and the excitement ran extremely high. 
I launched into the middle of it, and entered into the 
contest sincerely and enthusiastically, and I think I 
made the paper more efficient than it had heen "before. 
Politically, this contest was not on very high moral 
grounds. The dollar had more to do with it than hu- 
manity. Still there was underlying the structure of the 
"Whig organization a principle that regarded man and 
his rights. The slavery question was then just coming 
up. When that question did crop out, the right side 
was better supported by the Whigs than the Democrats, 
though both parties affected not to care about it, and 
each made it a point to deny all anti-slavery sympathy. 
Still, the men who were strong "Whigs, in that day, were 
among the most enthusiastic Republicans in a later day. 
Such was the power of the slave system then, and long 
after, that nothing was to be accomplished politically by 
direct war upon it. The good men, whose hearts were 
arrayed against it, had to wait till an army of sufficient 
strength to fight it safely was educated for the battle. 
Therefore, the contest in 1840, was about something else 
than slavery, except as the issues then made affected the 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 195 

rights of labor and the progress of humanity. ~We have 
lived to see this battle fought, and we have seen how 
hard it was for a large portion of the very Republicans 
who had arrayed themselves ostensibly on the side of 
freedom, to accept the conditions upon which Providence 
plainly placed the success of the North and the nation; we 
have seen how long it was before slavery was acknowl- 
edged to be the issue of the war in which every thing 
else was subordinate, before the blacks were rationally 
called to their place in the ranks and their rights recog- 
nized in their emancipation. It was, indeed, marvelous 
to realize the depths to which that evil had eaten its way 
into the national heart, when a soldier would lay down 
his life in such a fearful contest for national existence, 
rather than accept the help of the enslaved race. The 
management of American politics during the twelve 
years after General Jackson's election, had been in the 
hands of the so-called Democratic party, and the gov- 
ernment was conducted according to the most liberal 
construction of the idea of that school, which was that 
the people, or those whom they put into power, had 
an indisputable right to do as they pleased; or that, by 
virtue of their natural sovereignty, the people could do 
no wrong. The consequence of this was that the ad- 
ministrations of Gen. Jackson, and of Van Buren, his 
successor, were arbitrary and oppressive, as well as in a 
great degree corrupt. 



196 Recollections of 



CHAPTEE XXTCI. 

CONCLUSION. 
BY W. D. HOWELLS. 

Support of Harrison in 1840, and Clay in 1844 Opposition to the 
Mexican War Refusal to Support Taylor, and Removal to Day- 
ton Business Failure A Year in the Country A Winter in 
Columbus Removal to Ashtabula County Congenial Political 
Surroundings Election to the State Senate Appointment to- 
Consulate at Quebec Promotion to Toronto Resignation 
Farming in Virginia Return to Jefferson Declining Years- 
Death. 

My father had meant to bring the foregoing sketch 
of his life down to the present date, but various events, 
occurred to prevent the fulfillment of his purpose, and 
it remains for me to finish the record, as I can, from 
my personal knowledge of the facts and from what I 
have heard him say of them. 

He took an active and enthusiastic part in the great 
Harrison campaign of 1840, and made his influence felt 
as strongly as he could on what he believed the right 
side in national politics. Of course, his sphere as the 
editor of a country newspaper was very restricted, but 
the country press counted for more in that day than it 
does in this, and he always thought that it could be a 
-greater power if it dealt more with aftairs of general con- 
cern, and confined itself less to neighborhood gossip and 
the chronicles of small beer. He did not neglect the 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 197 

local interests, but he believed there were others, and he 
preferred these : moral, religious, political' interests. I 
suppose that he felt the humorous character of human 
affairs too strongly ever to be a fanatical devotee of any 
cause, but he was a very earnest man, and he was at no 
time afraid to do what he held right. He was opposed to 
slavery and to drunkenness, but he was neither an aboli- 
tionist nor a teetotaler, for he did not think those evils 
could be immediately dealt with, but hoped for their 
gradual control and extinction. 

He remained a Whig, and in 1844 he gave Henry 
Clay as cordial support as he had given Harrison in 
1840. No doubt he felt that even greater principles were 
at stake, and under the "Whig banner he fought against 
the annexation of Texas, because he knew that it im- 
plied the extension of slavery. When this took place, 
and war was declared against Mexico, he did his best 
to make his readers feel the wicked injustice of that 
war and the atrocity of the popular sentiment, " Our 
country, right or wrong," in which so many good peo- 
ple reconciled themselves to the invasion and dismem- 
berment of a sister republic. His course brought him in 
conflict not merely with theories and principles, but with 
the men who embodied them in the littte town, which 
was overwhelmingly Democratic and proslavery in feel- 
ing, and was the scene of great martial activity. In 
those days a journalist was much more apt to pay with 
his person for unpopular opinions than he is now, and 
the editor of the "Intelligencer" was not always safe at 
Hamilton from the hostilities so rife at Monterey and 
Vera Cruz. He was never anxious for himself, being a 



198 Recollections of 

man so incredulous of danger that he was essentially 
without fear, but I can remember the anxieties for him 
at home, under the standing threats of belligerant cap- 
tains and majors, not yet at the front. About the time 
that he was defying popular feeling in this direction he 
was attacking in his paper the gambling dens of the 
place, and at this distance I can not be sure of given 
anxieties, whether they more concerned the leaders of 
our volunteer forces or the keepers of these resorts. 

There was always more or less going on in the way of 
the temperance movement, which he strongly favored on 
its possible side. As a good Whig, he hoped something 
from its success for the "Whig cause, and did what he 
could to rend the solid Q-erman democracy, which began 
to be divided into the Brauhaus-Gemeinde, and the 
Temperanz-Gemeinde, with the possibility that the Tem- 
perance-Gemeinde would end politically in the embrace 
of the "WTiig party. I do not know whether it did so ; 
probably not ; but I recollect the amusement their dis- 
sensions and discussions gave him, even when they were 
carried into the bosom of the Lutheran church. 

He was himself a thorough Swedenborgian at this 
period, and his intellectual experience was about equally 
divided between politics and religion. If he had con- 
tinued his memoir he would doubtless have given a more 
adequate impression of his devotion to the philosophy 
of Swedenborg than the reader will have received from 
what he has written. It became more and more largely 
his life, and he joined to his activities in behalf of the 
"Whig party a no less eager devotion to the interests of the 
New Church. He edited and published a Swedenborgian 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 199 

periodical, called the Retina, which he carried on for a 
year, at the usual loss, I suppose, for he had then to give 
it up. But he continued always a reader of the doc- 
trines, and he wrote more or less concerning them. 
Toward the end of his life his interest in them became 
less constant, but I think not so much from failing con- 
viction as from the fact that he had so entirely absorbed 
them. He no longer felt the need of strenuous conclu- 
sions as to matters which are really beyond our forces ; 
or ? as he once wrote me, " Youth is the time to believe, 
age is the time to trust." 

"When the great Ohio "Whig, Tom Corwin, lifted his 
voice against the Mexican War, in Congress, my father 
was among the very first to name him for the party can- 
didacy in 1848, and when the "Whigs in that year nomi- 
nated a successful general of the war, he would not sup- 
port him, but gave his whole heart and soul to the hope- 
less cause of the Freesoil party. This course of his led 
to the sale of his paper, for, without the favor of the 
Whigs, he could not hope to continue it. He seems not 
to have thought of compromising between his convic- 
tions and his interests, and his conduct in the matter was 
from that unconscious courage that his life was full of. 
I simply know the fact as it occurred, for I do not re- 
member ever to have heard him speak of it, and I doubt 
if he valued himself upon it. Tet he had a large family, 
and he had no immediate prospect before him; and I 
fancy that, after a balance had been struck between his 
debts and credits, very little ready money, if any, re- 
mained to him for a new enterprise. He once said that 



200 Recollections of 

his livelihood from the newspaper never passed twelve 
hundred dollars a year. 

He cast about in various ways for some months, and 
at one time it seemed as if the family fortunes were 
made in the discovery that a certain weed could be 
successfully cultivated for its fiber in paper-making; 
I am not sure but it was the common milkweed, whose 
boll is full of a silky cotton ; but at any rate it came to 
nothing, and my father bought an interest in the " Day- 
ton Transcript," and we went to live in Dayton. 

By this time, President Taylor had shown himself 
averse to the proslavery tendencies in his party, and my 
father again called himself a "Whig, but it was for a little 
while only; the "Whigs under Fillmore and "Webster en- 
acted the Fugitive Slave Law, and that made it impossi- 
ble for him to continue with them. The community in 
which our lot was cast was scarcely more friendly than 
that we had left, to the political principles he advo- 
cated, and he had further imperiled his chances of suc- 
cess by starting a daily edition of the newspaper he had 
bought and was trying to pay for. We fought a losing 
battle and we lost it. In two years he failed, and we 
left Dayton for the country, which was always tempting 
and betraying us from generation to generation. This 
time, however, it was not exactly farming that called to 
the latent agriculture in our blood, though there was a 
farm connected with the milling property which my 
uncles bought and sent my father to take charge of, until 
they could wind up their affairs and settle their families 
on it. They were druggists and doctors, and they had 
bought a grist-mill and a saw-mill, which they were 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 201 

going to turn into paper-mills, and conduct on a sort of 
co-operative principle, at last, if not at first. The en- 
terprise never got beyond the earliest stage; the grist- 
mill and the saw-mill remained, and, after a year, one 
of my uncles came to replace my father in his charge, 
and we were again seeking our fortunes. My father 
could turn hopefully to the newspaper life alone, and ? 
after much seeking, he found employment as legislative 
reporter for the "Ohio State Journal," at Columbus. 
This function has long been disused, I believe, but then 
it afforded us a livelihood, and we remained in Colum- 
bus until the adjournment of the legislature. 

By that time my father had made acquaintance with 
some of the Freesoil representatives from the Western 
Reserve, and had learned of an opening at Ashtabula, 
where a share of the "Sentinel" newspaper could be had 
on the only terms he was able to offer work and hope. 
We removed to that village in the early summer of 1852, 
and in the following January we removed with the paper 
to the county-seat at Jefferson* There my father was 
connected with the " Sentinel " for twenty years, and 
there his eldest son still publishes that paper. 

He had always a great affection for the Eastern and 
Southern part of the State where his early life was passed, 
and as he grew older his mind reverted with increasing 
fondness to the familiar scenes and types of those re- 
gions, but now for the first time he found himself in a 
community fully in sympathy with his political opinions, 
and so liberal to all religious opinions that he could 
not feel himself alien in the great interests of his life. 
The little village of Jefferson, which then counted 



202 Recollections of 

hardly more than seven hundred inhabitants, was the 
home of G-iddings and of Wade, and was the center of a 
most extraordinary amount of reading and thinking. 
Outside of Massachusetts, I do not believe that an equal 
average of intelligence could have been found, among all 
sorts and conditions of men, who were there of an almost 
perfect social equality. My father heartily enjoyed all 
this, which was in keeping with his Quaker origin and 
tradition. He gave his energies to his paper and his 
party with a reasoned hopefulness such as he could never 
have felt before, and he prospered with them. He es- 
caped from the narrowness of village life now and then 
by means of a legislative clerkship, and passed two or 
three winters in Columbus ; and in 1864 he was elected to 
the State Senate from his district by a larger majority 
than it ever gave before or since, thanks to the so- 
lidification of the vote by the facts and feelings of the 
closing war. 

As the reader of the foregoing memoir knows he was 
always fond of the simpler and kinder things of life ; he 
was devotedly attached to his home, and he loved the 
woods and fields about it ; but after the death of a son 
who was taken from him in the flower of his most prom- 
ising youth, he withdrew more and more from the world, 
and lived in his affections in a measure which was pa- 
thetic to me, returning to him after a separation of 
years. He seemed quite to have lost the ambitions of 
his former days, and to have no interests but such as cen- 
tered about his own hearthstone. "When our home was 
irreparably shattered by the death of my mother, he could 
no longer find refuge there, and he was willing to quit for 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 208 

a while the scenes that death had saddened to him. Ex- 
cept for the wishes of his family, however, I do not sup- 
pose he would have sought the place which he was given 
by President Grant, who appointed him Consul at Que- 
bec in 1874. He spent four or five years in that ancient 
capital, which were among the happiest of his whole life, 
brightened by agreeable associations, and the friendly 
acquaintance of a wide circle of people strange to him 
in every thing but their gentleness and culture. He 
was afterward promoted to the consulate at Toronto, 
where again he found himself in congenial surround- 
ings, and in the enjoyment of duties which he felt that 
he usefully discharged. He resigned his post in 1883, 
and bought a farm near Richmond, Virginia, where he 
removed at once. 

He had always fondly remembered the Virginia 
country, and he gladly returned to the region and the 
occupation of his early years. It was a great mistake, 
however. At seventy-five he was too old to manage the 
farm he had bought, and it was no more to him than a 
charming home for three years. At the end of this time, 
he exchanged it for a property in Jefferson, and returned 
to that village, where he ended his long life at the age 
of eighty-seven, on the 28th of August, 1894. His last 
years were full of peace, and I think were not the least 
happy of his many years. His six acres formed for him 
the image of a farm which was not beyond his failing 
energies, and kept him in the work that meant health 
rather than profit to him, A horse and a cow repre- 
sented the farm stock to him, and troops of chickens, 
turkeys, ducks, and most discordant guinea fowls (he had 



204 Eecolleetions of 

brought the last from Virginia, and -witnessed their 
steady decrease with some criticism of the Lake Shore 
climate), perhaps superabundantly supplied the place of 
the poultry of other days. He fed them himself, and so 
had a personal acquaintance with each of them, which 
had its sentimental disadvantages, when it came to a 
question of their transfer to the table. 

He was yery fond of his garden, and quite success- 
ful with it, planting it and tending it himself, and accept- 
ing with serene satisfaction whatever the superior ener- 
gies of the weeds left him. His orchard mostly got the 
better of him in an apple-year, when he found himself 
quite unequal to its magnificent yield, but he could cope 
with his grapes, and lie made from them every autumn 
a wine that he never cared for himself, but was glad to 
have approved by the more educated palate of others. 
Melons were an ambition with him which he latterly 
realized by having the seeds started in pots and then set 
out in the bed he had prepared ; but I think he secretly 
preferred the culture of pumpkins, which he admired for 
their lusty profusion and vigor. He never could eat 
them, of course, and he meekly accepted my censure of 
him for giving so much time and space to these purely 
decorative vegetables when he could just as well have 
raised Hubbard squashes in their stead. He would 
promise that the next year he would plant no pumpkins, 
and I believe he made some vows to this effect last 
spring when we were planting a melon bed together. It 
was rather a hot day, and I suffered from the sun as I 
set out the plants, but he followed actively after me with 



Life in OAzo,. 1813-1840. 205 

the hoe, and hilled them up as fast as I could put them 
in the ground. 

He had then passed his eighty-seventh birthday, 
and I could see that he was proud of his strength and 
skill, and of the youthful spirit which he had kept so far 
into his age. He once said that he rather thought he 
should live to be ninety ; that he had set the limit at that 
figure, and he seemed to have a pleasure in it, because, 
as he recalled, his eldest daughter, no longer living her- 
self, used to say that she believed he would live to be 
ninety. I think that it was the day when we worked 
together that he spoke to me of the end, which in any 
event could not be far off. He told me that a few nights 
before he had found himself awake with the thought of 
it in his mind. He had looked at it steadily in every 
aspect until he had completely possessed himself of it, 
and for the first time he had experienced no dread of it. 
" Now," he said, " whenever it comes, I am resigned." 
I have lost the precious words in which he expressed his 
most serene and philosophic mind concerning the great 
mystery, but I shall never forget the sweet courage, the 
gentle seriousness of his mood. 

In these latter years, he thought much upon the sub- 
jects that had occupied him through life, and it is a 
great pleasure to me that I thought with him on nearly 
every point He <iould not look with content upon the 
present outcome of our social and political experiment, 
and he hoped, as I do, for a true -commonwealth, in 
which those who work shall rule, and all shall work, in 
the spirit of liberty, equality, and fraternity. 



206 Recollections of 

On the 9th of June, he had a stroke of paralysis, 
which affected the left side in a measure to render him 
altogether helpless. But he rallied during the months 
that remained to< him of life. with extraordinary power. 
His reserve of vitality from the years simply and sanely 
spent was very great, and, when I saw him three 
weeks after the stroke, I found him rapidly recovering. 
His speech was distinct, his laugh was as quick as ever, 
and his disposition to see his own case in a humorous 
light was thoroughly characteristic. He loved, as al- 
ways, to have us about him, to share in our jokes, and 
to take part in all our graver moods. He was impatient 
to get back to the table, and, within the fourth week, he 
was there again, full of the spirit of whatever was going 
on, and the cheerfulest among us. As he regained his 
self-control, his lifelong thoughtfulness of others returned 
to him ; he tried to make himself less and less a burden ; 
he was anxious that I should not give time to him that 
he thought due to my own family, and almost his last 
intelligible words were to his nurse, to whom he said, 
with a certain habitual formality of speech, " I wish you 
to understand that I am very grateful to you for your 
care of me." 

A week before his death, his final recovery seemed 
at hand, and when he was attacked by an acute dis- 
order, within four days of the end, his physician thought 
that he would get well. 

It was not to be. The noon of a silent August day, 
whose strange and peculiar beauty he would have en- 



Life in Ohio, 1813-1840. 207 

joyed beyond us all, found turn drawing his last breaths, 
and he died before the afternoon had begun to wane, 
with those who were dear to him about him, elderly men 
and women, but children still in their love for him, and 
in their bereavement. 



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